The United States can lawfully kill a U.S. citizen overseas if it determines the target is a "senior, operational leader" of al-Qaeda or an "associated group" and poses an imminent threat to the United States, according to a Justice Department document published late Monday by NBC News.
"This is a chilling document," said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He called the document a "profoundly disturbing" summary of "a stunning overreach of executive authority -- the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement before or after the fact."
Brennan is currently Obama's chief counter-terrorism advisor. Obama wanted to appoint Brennan as director of the CIA back in 2008. Brennan, however, pulled his name from consideration because of his controversial support for torture and extraordinary rendition to other countries where torture is commonplace and federal and international laws do not apply.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will conduct the hearings and the public is urged to send messages to their senators in opposition to Brennan's appointment. The Intelligence Committee is composed of the following people:
Democrats Republicans Dianne Feinstein,
Chairman Saxby Chambliss,
Vice Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV,
West Virginia Richard Burr,
North Carolina Ron Wyden,
Oregon James E. Risch,
Idaho Barbara A. Mikulski,
Maryland Daniel Coats,
Indiana Mark Udall,
Colorado Marco Rubio,
Florida Mark Warner,
Virginia Susan Collins,
Maine Martin Heinrich,
New Mexico Tom Coburn,
Oklahoma Angus King,
The Congressional Switchboard number is: (202) 224-3121