(American Thinker) — Exercising a power that no prior president ever thought he possessed — a power that no prior president is known to have exercised — President Obama admitted that he ordered the execution of American citizens, not on a battlefield, based on his belief that they were involved in terrorist activities. It is known that at least three U.S. citizens, including a 16-year old boy, were killed on the president’s order in drone strikes in Yemen in 2011.
As the worldwide drone program ramps up, there have been increasing calls for the president to reveal the basis for his claimed authority. Only a few weeks ago, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon denied both the ACLU’s and New York Times’ requests under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain any and all legal documents prepared in support of the president’s claim of unilateral powers. While Judge McMahon was concerned that the documents “implicate serious issues about the limits on the power of the Executive Branch under the Constitution and laws of the United States, and about whether we are indeed a nation of laws not of men,” she felt constrained by precedent to withhold them. Now, a bipartisan group of 11 senators has written a letter to president Obama asking for “any and all legal opinions” that describe the basis for his claimed authority to “deliberately kill American citizens.”