Kill Americans Memo: Can U.S. Take Out Its Own Citizens Abroad?

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A memo allegedly written by the U.S. Justice Department lays out the legal justification for potentially using deadly force against Americans abroad.

Drone Strike

An NBC News report said the 16-page "kill Americans memo" offers a detailed explanation of when it's appropriate to use deadly force against Americans.

Americans suspected of playing significant roles in al-Qaida terrorist operations may be killed by the U.S. government, according to the leaked memo.

The document claims the federal government has the legal authority to target and kill American citizens believed to be responsible for terrorist activity.

Even if there is no definitive evidence they are involved in planning a specific attack against the U.S., the memo suggests lethal force may be legitimate.

The document reportedly broadens the legal justification supporting a recent surge in pilotless drone strikes, including those targeting Americans.

A drone strike killed U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen in 2011, sparking debate over how the U.S. decides who can be legally killed and why.

In January, a federal judge ruled against The New York Times in its effort to compel the U.S. government to reveal information on how it determines this.

What do you think? Should the government be allowed to target American citizens if they're on foreign soil? Or is this a huge constitutional overreach?

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