GOOD NEWS: We can kill Americans abroad who have joined terrorist groups

BAD NEWS: We need a permission slip from Barack Hussein Obama first.

The U.S. intelligence community policy on killing American citizens who have joined al Qaeda requires first obtaining high-level government approval, a senior official disclosed to Congress on Wednesday. Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said in each case a decision to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen must get special permission.

Californian Adam Gadahn, al-Qaeda mouthpiece

“We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.”

He also said there are criteria that must be met to authorize the killing of a U.S. citizen that include “whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us, whether that American is a threat to other Americans. Those are the factors involved.”

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House intelligence committee, asked Mr. Blair about the policy of targeting American citizens at a hearing. It was the first time there was public discussion about one of the most sensitive U.S. counterterrorism policies.

Mr. Blair’s remarks follow a report in The Washington Post last week that disclosed President Obama had personally authorized a Christmas eve drone attack against Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen in Yemen who is chief cleric for the terrorist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Awlaki is thought to have survived the attack. Al-Awlaki was in contact with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried and failed to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day.

Al-Awlaki was a former imam at a Falls Church, Va., mosque where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the officer accused of killing 13 of his fellow service members at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, is said to have attended sermons and sought his advice over e-mail.READ MORE WASHINGTON TIMES

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