Obama approves providing legal advice on use of drones to Congress

Washington, Feb 7 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has reversed course and agreed to provide congressional intelligence committees access to classified information providing the legal rationale for drone strikes against American citizens linked with terrorist groups abroad, two officials familiar with the matter have said.

According to one official, Obama made the decision on Wednesday to provide members of Congress with the Office of Legal Counsel's advice following the leak earlier in the week of a Justice Department white paper on the use of drones.

The white paper appears to have been derived from the longer legal memo or memos that the administration long resisted sharing with the oversight panels on the Hill, Politico reports.

According to the report, the sharing of the information, which lawmakers had long sought, comes on the eve of a Senate hearing on John Brennan's nomination to serve as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Some senators had suggested that his nomination could be blocked if the administration was not more forthcoming.

The report said that the administration characterized Obama's decision as consistent with his stated desire for Congress to be involved in refining the legal framework surrounding counterterror efforts.

It was also consistent with what press secretary Jay Carney said in a briefing this week that Obama thinks 'it is legitimate to ask questions about how we prosecute the war against Al-Qaeda,' the report added. (ANI)

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