Will Senators Filibuster Chuck Hagel’s Nomination to Get the Targeted Killing Memo?

Eleven Senators just sent President Obama a letter asking nicely, for at least the 12th time, the targeted killing memo. They remind him of his promise of transparency and oversight.

In your speech at the National Archives in May 2009, you stated that “Whenever we cannot release certain information to the public for valid national security reasons, I will insist that there is oversight of my actions — by Congress or by the courts.” We applaud this principled commitment to the Constitutional system of checks and balances, and hope that you will help us obtain the documents that we need to conduct the oversight that you have called for. The executive branch’s cooperation on this matter will help avoid an unnecessary confrontation that could affect the Senate’s consideration of nominees for national security positions. 

And asks — yet again — for “any and all memos.”

Specifically, we ask that you direct the Justice Department to provide Congress, specifically the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, with any and all legal opinions that lay out the executive branch’s official understanding of the President’s authority to deliberately kill American citizens.

But perhaps the most important part of this letter is that it refers not just to John Brennan’s nomination, but to “senior national security positions.”

As the Senate considers a number of nominees for senior national security positions, we ask that you ensure that Congress is provided with the secret legal opinions outlining your authority to authorize the killing of Americans in the course of counterterrorism operations.

There are just 11 Senators on this list:

  • Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
  • Mike Lee (R-Utah)
  • Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
  • Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
  • Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
  • Susan Collins (R-Maine)
  • Dick Durbin (Ill.)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
  • Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
  • Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
  • Al Franken (D- Minn.)

And just three of these — Wyden, Mark Udall, and Collins — are on the Intelligence Committee. That’s not enough to block Brennan’s confirmation.

But it may be enough to block Hagel’s confirmation, given all the other Republicans who are opposing him.

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emptywheel @MuskegonCritic But you were willing to send him all the carp he wanted to fertilize his fields?
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emptywheel @sarahjeong There's a special exception for you on the terrorist watchlist guidelines because of it too.
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emptywheel @HinaShamsi Also, generally, girls.
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emptywheel Ut oh. Arms merchants selling to terrorists are also suspected terrorists. Long line of Americans and their friends on that puppy.
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emptywheel If corporations are people can we put the whole damn thing on a No Fly list?
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emptywheel Also, HSBC should be on this terrorist watchlist thingie. That one's a no-brainer. JP Morgan Chase too.
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emptywheel RT @srubenfeld: Exclusive: SEC turns over anonymous whistleblower tip - on judge's order - to hedge fund where tip alleged wrongdoing http:…
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emptywheel Certainly terrorist activities 20 years ago still count, per exmple. How about 30 years ago?
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emptywheel Back to reading Terror Watchlist. I honestly believe that Peter King still qualifies. Am I reading this properly?
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emptywheel @nadabakos It wouldn't be Aspen then. But yes, it would be refreshing and valuable. @MiekeEoyang
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emptywheel RT @joshgerstein: DC Circuit issues rare mandamus order nixing deposition for Vilsack in Sherrod v. Breitbart lawsuit http://t.co/Pz1RjXFcw6
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emptywheel @attackerman Don't forget surveill everyoneinthewideworldistan. In case they become Whereverthefuckistan.
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