Charlie Savage and Scott Shane have an important story on the Obama administration’s justifications for killing a US citizen, citing yesterday’s leaked memo obtained by NBC News correspondent Michael Isikoff.
The memo fills in important details of the government’s justifications for these killings, while still leaving plenty of terms only very loosely undefined. Perhaps most noticeably, it claims that killings can be performed in the face of an “imminent attack” but that there need not be any evidence of an attack.
According to Savage and Shane, the memo is also not the specific one used in the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, and lawyer Jesselyn Radack has noted that it wouldn’t justify that killing. (Awlaki was a US citizen.)