House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., believes that President Obama doesn’t necessarily have to announce that an American citizen suspected of terrorism has been killed in a drone strike.
“Maybe. It just depends,” Pelosi replied when The Huffington Post asked her if “the administration should acknowledge when it targets a U.S. citizen in a drone strike.” When Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike, President Obama announced the killing within hours. “People just want to be protected,” Pelosi also said. “And I saw that when we were fighting them on surveillance, the domestic surveillance. People just want to be protected: ‘You go out there and do it. I’ll criticize you, but I want to be protected.’”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, responded less blithely. “Anytime the government willfully executes a citizen, regardless of the circumstances, it is a very serious issue,” Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement to The Washington Examiner. “As the body that oversees executive branch actions, at the very least, Congress should have a full accounting – even if it must sometimes be in a classified setting – of the specific considerations that went into the decision.”
The top House Democrat suggested that the disclosure issue “depends on the timing, because that’s right — it’s all about timing, imminence. What is it that could be in jeopardy if people know that happened at this time? I just don’t know.”
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