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Liberal Democrats Demand Obama Release Legal Basis for Drones

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Politix; March 12, 2013

Eight of the most liberal Democrats in Congress have signed a letter asking Obama to reveal the legal basis for his use of drones in America and abroad.

The Democrats' move is clearly a follow-up to Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster last Thursday. But the Democrats' missive focuses more on drone strikes overseas than did Paul's filibuster, which honed in on the killing of Americans on US soil. The letter worries that with many other nations acquiring drones, the Obama administration is setting a dangerous precedent that could damage international security.

"Every American has the right to know the underlying legal rationale that ensures due process," says the letter, obtained by Politico.

It's signed by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Mike Honda (D-CA), Rush Holt (D-NJ) and James McGovern (D-MA).

"Authorizing the killing of American citizens and others has profound implications for our Constitution, the core values of our Nation, our national security and future international practice. The executive branch's claim of authority to deprive citizens of life, and to do so without explaining the legal bases for doing so, sets a dangerous precedent," the letter continues. It asks Obama to present a report to Congress explaining how the drones program conforms to international law and due process.

You can read the full letter here.

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