The decision to grant lawmakers access to the classified information comes a day before the president's pick to head the CIA has his confirmation hearing. The classified information details the rationale for targeted strikes against U.S. citizens believed to have links to al-Qaida.
A justice department memo obtained by NBC News says the president can order drone strikes on Americans overseas if they take on leadership posts in al-Qaida or affiliated organizations and are "imminent" threats to Americans. But there's no need for proof of "specific" plans aimed at the U.S.
Justice Department analysis says the U.S. has the right to carry out targeted killings of Americans who are senior operatives of al-Qaida or affiliated groups — even if they are not known to be actively working on a plot.
As Arab-Israeli tensions grew in the fall of 1973, the CIA offered its analysis to President Nixon's administration: War was highly unlikely. The agency kept making that case right up to the time the war began.
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