Drone strikes are legal, ethical, wise, White House says
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House on Tuesday defended drone strikes against Al-Qaeda suspects as legal, ethical and wise and insisted they complied with US law and the Constitution, even if they targeted Americans.
The White House defended President Barack Obama's power to wage drone war after a Justice Department memo argued that Americans high up in Al-Qaeda could be lawfully killed, even if intelligence fails to show them plotting an attack.
The disclosure by NBC news, which posted a link to the white paper on its web page, came as US drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere face increasing scrutiny and questions from human rights groups.
"We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, to prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise."