The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump Administration Monday to learn more about the Yemen attack that left one Navy SEAL dead.
From the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York:
The Request seeks information concerning: the legal and factual bases for the Raid; the process by which the government evaluated and approved the Raid; why certain areas of Yemen were “temporarily” designated as areas of active hostilities; and the extent of civilian deaths that resulted from the Raid.
Plaintiffs say the administration hasn’t been transparent about its legal and factual justifications for the attack, and that its estimate of civilian casualties contradict reports by independent journalists and a human rights organization. Now the ACLU wants agency records about the controversial incident. Specific defendants are the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, and the Central Intelligence Agency. LawNewz.com reached out to them.
“We do not comment on pending litigation,” a State Department official told LawNewz.com. The other agencies have yet to respond as of Tuesday.
Plaintiffs had previously filed a Freedom of Information Act request to these agencies on March 15.
A January 29 raid in al Ghayil, Yemen left one Navy SEAL and several civilians dead. A NY Times report shortly after said 14 al-Qaeda members were killed. U.S. officials initially said there were no civilian casualties, but a military investigation later said up to 12 lost their lives. The ACLU has cited independent reports that claim the number was as low as 14, and up to 25.
William “Ryan” Owens, the SEAL who died in the attack, was 36.
Update – May 9, 12:16 p.m.: We added a statement from the State Department.
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