Should be interesting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has directed the Justice Department to give Congress’ intelligence committees access to classified information providing the legal rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaida abroad, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
Several lawmakers, led by Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, have pressed the White House for more information on how decisions are made to target U.S. citizens abroad follow the release this week of an unclassified “white paper” that the Justice Department sent key lawmakers last year. The unclassified memo says it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens abroad if it believes they are senior al-Qaida leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans.
The official said Obama made the decision to send lawmakers the classified rationale on Wednesday as part of his “commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters.” Obama directed the Justice Department provide the Senate and House intelligence committees access to classified advice from its Office of Legal Counsel that the white paper is based on, the official said.
Legal opinions produced by Justice’s legal counsel’s office are interpretations of federal law that are binding on all executive branch agencies.
The administration official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter by name.