February 5, 2013

US senators have requested the legal justification for the killings of US citizens suspected of terrorism by the Obama administration. Meanwhile a ‘chilling’ leaked memo showed that the government sees little need for constraint on the issue.

A group of 11 senators on Monday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to release all Justice Department memos on the practice of targeting US citizens suspected of being terrorist leaders with lethal force, particularly drone airstrikes. The request comes as the administration seeks Senate approval for John Brennan, Obama’s nomination for CIA chief.

“As the Senate considers a number of nominees for senior national security positions, we ask that you ensure that Congress is provided with the secret legal opinions outlining your authority to authorize the killing of Americans in the course of counterterrorism operations,” the letter’s opening paragraph reads.

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