A memo from the Justice Department has surfaced showing that drone strikes can be used against a wider range of threats, with less evidence, even if it involves American citizens overseas, the Huffington Post reports. This information has prompted bipartisan calls from Congress to limit America’s authority to do so.
The drone program has stepped up in recent years, and attacks include the deaths of three American citizens in Yemen last year. According to the Huffington Post, those drone strikes killed Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and Samir Khan. Al-Awlaki was linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests and his son was killed in a separate strike on a suspected al-Qaida den.
Not everyone, however, believes these actions are warranted.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to hold hearings on U.S. drone policy, the Huffington Post reports. A group of 11 Democratic and Republican senators have asked that President Barack Obama release classified documents justifying when such measures can be used to kill American citizens abroad.
Without those documents, it's impossible for Congress and the public to decide "whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the president's power to deliberately kill Americans is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards," the senators wrote.
U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) said it is probably the time to take it “a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens but other citizens as well."
All this follows a continued outcry against the previous administration for using enhanced interrogation tactics.
Do you think a suspect terrorist who operates from bases abroad, even if he or she is an American citizen, shouldn't be excluded from a possible drone strike? And does it matter if that target has not had "due process" as defined by American law?