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John Bolton: Obama Can Order Drone Strikes Against U.S. Citizens Abroad Without Violating the Constitution

A new Justice Department memo makes the case for the targeted killings of U.S. citizens abroad. The reported memo argues it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens overseas if it believes they are senior Al Qaeda leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans - even if there is no intelligence pointing to an active plot against America.

The confidential memo lays out why the Obama administration believes these attacks are constitutional. Under Obama, the U.S. drone program has ramped up dramatically, becoming one of the most important tools in the counterterrorism campaign. Most of the strikes take place in Pakistan, near the Afghan border, but a 2011 drone strike in Yemen killed two Americans - Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan.


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On America's Newsroom this morning, Gregg Jarrett talked to former U.N. ambassador John Bolton about the policy. He pointed out that as a senator, President Obama took

issue with President Bush's use of the Patriot Act in counterterrorism operations, but the new memo on the drone program "appears to be consistent with the policies of the Bush administration."

Bolton said he takes issue with those who argue that a targeted strike against a U.S. citizens is a violation of the individual's due process rights.

"If you assess the threat of international terrorism to be the equivalent of war, then you're in the 'law of war' paradigm. This is not like robbing the local 7-Eleven, where you resort to the law enforcement paradigm," said Bolton, who added that Article II of the Constitution gives this power to the president in a time of war.

Watch the interview:


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