Official: Obama to give white paper on targeted killings to Congress

Washington (CNN) -- Amid new controversy over his administration's targeted killing of American citizens overseas by drones, President Barack Obama has yielded to demands that he turn over to Congress classified Justice Department legal advice seeking to justify the policy, an administration official said.

The president's move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director nominee John Brennan and amid complaints from senators, including several Democrats, about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.

"Today, as part of the president's ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper," an administration official said.

The 16-page white paper -- titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaida or an Associated Force" -- is a policy paper rather than an official legal document.

The president, the official said, was turning over the information because he believes the scrutiny and debate is healthy.


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