"Who Says You Can Kill Americans, Mr. President?" a scathing New York Times op-ed asked Thursday.
The opinion piece, written by Vicki Divoll, former general counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and former deputy legal adviser to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, heaps criticism on the administration for the practice of using drone strikes for assassination and calls for greater transparency.
Mr. Obama should declassify and release, to Congress, the press and the public, documents that set forth the detailed constitutional and statutory analysis he relies on for targeting and killing American citizens. Perhaps Mr. Obama still believes that, in a democracy, the people have a right to know the legal theories upon which the president executes his great powers. Certainly, we can hope so. After all, his interpretation might be wrong.
Divoll notes the known killings of three American citizens who were suspected terrorists: Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born Muslim cleric; Samir Khan, a naturalized American citizen who edited an English-language magazine and was with Awlaki at the time of his death; and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who were all killed overseas.