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Targeted killings: What are the limits?
Thursday's confirmation hearings for John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, offer a rare opportunity for senators to press the architect of the administration's policy of targeted killings about its legal rationale and practical application. The urgency of such an inquiry was underlined by the release this week of a troubling Justice Department document suggesting that the administration asserts the authority to assassinate suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens, even when they aren't planning an imminent attack — guidelines that could allow for a broad expansion of executive power to authorize such killings.
February 7, 2013