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May 22, 2013

U.S. acknowledges killing four Americans in drone strikes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government formally acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that it had killed four Americans, including militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

Attorney General Eric Holder named the dead U.S. citizens in a letter to members of Congress a day before President Barack Obama is expected to promise more transparency on national security issues in a speech on counterterrorism.

May 21, 2013

U.S. court rules bin Laden death photos can stay secret

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. government had properly classified top secret more than 50 images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden taken after his death, and that the government did not need to release them.

The unanimous ruling by three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a request for the images by a conservative nonprofit watchdog group.

May 21, 2013

Court rules bin Laden death photos can stay secret

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. government had properly classified top secret more than 50 images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden taken after his death, and that the government did not need to release them.

The unanimous ruling by three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a request for the images by a conservative nonprofit watchdog group.

May 15, 2013

Lawmakers accuse Obama administration of abusing free speech rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers accused the Obama administration on Wednesday of trampling on free speech rights and evading questions about the Justice Department’s secret seizure of Associated Press telephone records.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, testifying before a House of Representatives panel, provided limited responses on the issue, noting he had been recused from the probe into a government leak that led to the records seizure.

May 15, 2013

Once a beacon, Obama under fire over civil liberties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – He may have been the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He may have written a book extolling constitutional values in a democracy. And he may have run for president on a civil liberties banner, pledging to reverse the legacy of George W. Bush.

But as U.S. president for the last 4-1/2 years, Barack Obama has faced accusation after accusation of impinging on civil liberties, disappointing his liberal Democratic base and providing fodder for rival Republicans as he deals with the realities of office.

May 15, 2013

Analysis: Once a beacon, Obama under fire over civil liberties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – He may have been the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He may have written a book extolling constitutional values in a democracy. And he may have run for president on a civil liberties banner, pledging to reverse the legacy of George W. Bush.

But as U.S. president for the last 4-1/2 years, Barack Obama has faced accusation after accusation of impinging on civil liberties, disappointing his liberal Democratic base and providing fodder for rival Republicans as he deals with the realities of office.

May 15, 2013

FBI opens criminal probe of U.S. tax agency, audit cites disarray

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the FBI to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups for extra tax scrutiny.

Holder’s announcement came about four hours before an inspector general’s report on the IRS portrayed the tax agency as plagued by disarray and “insufficient oversight” during its struggles to review the cases of hundreds of advocacy groups that claimed they should be tax exempt.

May 15, 2013

U.S. attorney general says he didn’t make AP phone records decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he did not make the controversial decision to secretly seize telephone records of the Associated Press but defended his department’s actions in the investigation of what he called a “very, very serious leak.”

The decision to seek phone records of one of the world’s largest news-gathering organizations was made by Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole, Holder said.

May 14, 2013

FBI to probe U.S. tax agency’s actions on conservative groups

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the FBI to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups for extra tax scrutiny.

Holder announced the Justice Department investigation as the tax agency’s embattled acting commissioner, Steven Miller, traveled to Capitol Hill for meetings on the scandal amid Republican lawmakers’ calls for his resignation.

May 14, 2013

U.S. Attorney General Holder recused himself from media subpoena

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric
Holder said on Tuesday that he had recused himself from the
Justice Department’s controversial decision to secretly seize
telephone records of the Associated Press.

Instead, the decision to seek phone records of one of the
world’s largest news-gathering organizations was made by the
deputy attorney general, Holder said. Jim Cole currently holds
that position.