Lawmakers want legal justification for drone strikes

The House members warned in a letter to President Obama Tuesday that the “signature” strikes can generate “powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment.”

“We are concerned that the use of such ‘signature’ strikes could raise the risk of killing innocent civilians or individuals who may have no relationship to attacks on the United States,” they wrote. “The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound. They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have.”

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Twenty-six lawmakers who signed the letter, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), including anti-war Republicans Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Walter Jones (N.C.).

The lawmakers want the White House to tell Congress the process by which signature strikes are authorized and the legal justifications for conducting them.

The new signature drone attacks in Yemen, which were first reported by The Washington Post in April, has been a tactic used for drone attacks in Pakistan.