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Judge: US can keep secrets on targeted killings

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge in New York has ruled that President Barack Obama's administration doesn't have to publicly disclose its legal justification for drone attacks and other deadly methods it has used to kill suspected terrorists overseas.

The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act in 2011 that sought documents in which Justice Department lawyers had discussed the highly classified "targeted killing" program.

The requests followed a drone strike in Yemen that killed an al-Qaida leader who had been born in the U.S.

In a decision signed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon chided the administration for keeping its legal reasoning a secret, but she also said she had no authority to order the documents disclosed.

The Times says it will appeal.

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