DOJ Memo released by MSNBC: U.S. Can Kill Americans Overseas if they Pose 'Imminent Threat'
By Michael Isikoff National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
“A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be senior operational leaders of al-Qaida or an associated force — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administrations most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.