Paul demands release of drone memos

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is demanding that President Obama provide memos that show a prospective judge’s support of drone strikes.

In an op-ed published Sunday in The New York Times, Paul said he can’t imagine appointing someone to the federal bench without knowing the person’s perspective on the “extrajudicial killing of American citizens.”

“But President Obama is seeking to do just that,” he wrote.

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Paul refers to Obama’s pick of David J. Barron for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

While working in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Paul claims that Barron wrote at least two legal memos justifying the execution of a U.S. citizen abroad without a trial. 

Now Mr. Obama is refusing to share that legal argument with the American people,” Paul wrote. 

In late April, Paul asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) to delay Barron’s nomination until at least one of the memos is released.

The Republican explains the White House has the right to withhold the documents to protect national security, but he argues “legal arguments that affect the rights of every American should not have the privilege of secrecy.” 

Paul has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Obama administration’s drone policy abroad.

The U.S. launched a missile in 2011 in Yemen that killed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who had become a senior member of al Qaeda.  

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