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Blunt: Drone Document Shows Presidential Hypocrisy

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Senator Blunt | Flickr
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) says he’s troubled by a new document released this week that outlines the president’s authority to kill overseas American citizens thought to be terrorists.

The Justice Department’s 16-page legal rationale says the president can order the killing of overseas Americans by drone strike if that person is deemed a “senior operational leader” of al-Qaida, or if there is an “imminent” threat to the U.S. and capture is “infeasible.” It was originally reported by NBC.

But the definition of those parameters is broad, and Blunt says it's hypocritical.

“It's absolute, utter inconsistency," Blunt said. "Arguing that you can kill American citizens in another country without legal proceeding, but if you captured someone believed to be a foreign terrorist, you can’t use enhanced interrogation techniques?"

Blunt added that the United States possibly misses out on valuable information when they use drone strikes.

It's a topic that will be discussed much in the coming days. John Brennan, the architect of the drone system, will be appearing before the Senate Thursday to seek confirmation to head the C.I.A.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel