Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:04 PM
spanone (90,878 posts)
cnn breaking: Obama to give white paper on targeted killings to Congress
Washington (CNN) -- Amid new controversy over his administration's targeted killing of American citizens overseas by drones, President Barack Obama has yielded to demands that he turn over to Congress classified Justice Department legal advice seeking to justify the policy, an administration official said.
The president's move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director nominee John Brennan and amid complaints from senators, including several Democrats, about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.
"Today, as part of the president's ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper," an administration official said.
The 16-page white paper -- titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaida or an Associated Force" -- is a policy paper rather than an official legal document.
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cnn breaking: Obama to give white paper on targeted killings to Congress (Original post)
Response to Robb (Reply #1)
Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:09 PM
spanone (90,878 posts)
2. story from nytimes.....
Obama Orders Release of Drone Memos to Lawmakers
WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday directed the Justice Department to release classified documents discussing the legal justification for the use of drones in targeting American citizens abroad who are considered terrorist to the two Congressional intelligence committees, according to an administration official.
The White House announcement appears to refer to a long, detailed 2010 memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel justifying the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric who had joined Al Qaeda in Yemen. He was killed in a C.I.A. drone strike in September 2011. Members of Congress have long demanded access to the legal memorandum.
The decision to release the legal memos to the intelligence committees came under pressure, two days after a bipartisan group of 11 senators joined a growing chorus asking for more information about the legal justification for targeted killings, especially of Americans. The announcement also came on the eve of the confirmation hearing scheduled for Thursday for John O. Brennan, President Obama’s choice to be director of the C.I.A. As Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, Mr. Brennan has been the chief architect of the drone program, and he is expected to be closely questioned about it at the hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Critics noted that in 2009, Mr. Obama had ordered the public release of the classified memos governing C.I.A. interrogations under President George W. Bush and accused Mr. Obama of hypocrisy. Administration officials replied that the so-called enhanced interrogations had been stopped, while drone strikes continue.