Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued a tersely worded statement on Tuesday in response to reports of a secret memo used by the Obama administration to claim legal authority to kill an American citizen if that person is believed to be a senior member of al-Qaeda or an associated force.
"Every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them," Wyden said. “The Justice Department memo that was made public yesterday touches on a number of important issues, but it leaves many of the most important questions about the President’s lethal authorities unanswered. Questions like ‘how much evidence does the President need to decide that a particular American is part of a terrorist group?’, ‘does the President have to provide individual Americans with the opportunity to surrender?’ and ‘can the President order intelligence agencies or the military to kill an American who is inside the United States?’ need to be asked and answered in a way that is consistent with American laws and American values."
Wyden said he would pose those questions to John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, at a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.