Lawmakers squared off with the Obama administration Tuesday after the inadvertent leak of a sensitive Justice Department memorandum defending the White House’s right to order armed drone strikes potentially against U.S. citizens.
Lawmakers went on the offensive shortly after details of the memo became public, demanding Department of Justice (DOJ) officials disclose additional information on the specific legal arguments justifying unmanned drone strikes against Americans.
The DOJ memo, first reported by NBC News, outlined the criteria U.S. military or intelligence officials must follow before it can launch a targeted drone strike against terror suspects — even if those suspects happen to be American citizens.
If a suspect can be proven to pose an imminent threat to U.S. national security, and it is not feasible to capture the individual, a drone strike becomes an option, Justice Department officials wrote.
But a strike must be conducted in line with the international laws of war, officials added.
Read More at The Hill . By Carlo Munoz and Amie Parnes.