Killing without stated reason

This is not enough:

… Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, said the White House had agreed to give the committee access to all Justice Department legal opinions on the targeted killing of Americans. Two such opinions were briefly shared with senators at the time of Brennan’s confirmation hearing last month; it is unclear how many more memos will now be shared.

Republicans have pressed for more details on the administration’s response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, in September, which killed the US ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans. The committee has been given additional Benghazi material as well, though not enough to satisfy some Republicans.

In addition, a staff member for each senator on the Intelligence Committee will now be permitted for the first time to see the Justice Department memos, which govern the use of drones and other weapons to kill US citizens overseas who have been identified as dangerous terrorists. Previously, only senators themselves were permitted to read the memos, a restriction that Feinstein had strongly protested, staff members said.

‘‘I have reached an agreement with the White House to provide the committee access to all OLC opinions related to the targeted killing of Americans in a way that allows members to fulfill their oversight responsibilities,’’ Feinstein said, referring to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. ‘‘I am pleased the administration has made this information available. It is important for the committee to do its work and will pave the way for the confirmation of John Brennan to be CIA director.’’

Congressional officials said the administration had also agreed to provide public, unclassified information about its position on when people suspected of terrorism can be killed legally on US soil. Several members of Congress, including Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, have raised the question, but neither Brennan nor Obama has given a clear answer in public.

As the ACLU representative says at the end of the article, this is a good, but small, first step. The rationale for killing someone needs to clear and needs to be public–we are a nation of laws. On the other hand, the Benghazi stuff is stupid and to be ignored.

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