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Feb 5, 2013 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits

Excerpted from Defcon Hill: The White House on Tuesday defended the guidelines for targeting Americans in drone strikes as “fully consistent” with the Constitution.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said it is President Obama’s responsibility to protect U.S. citizens “first and foremost.”

But Carney said strikes against Americans overseas are sometimes “necessary to mitigate ongoing attacks.” The operations are “fully consistent with our constitution,” he said.

“[The strikes] are legal, they are ethical and they are wise.”

Carney said authorized “all necessary military force” to be used in the fight against al Qaeda, and argued that Obama acts under that authority.

The spokesman said Obama “understands the gravity of these issues” and said it’s “entirely appropriate” to target the senior operational leaders of al Qaeda.

“They have without question engaged in plots against the U.S.,” Carney said of al Qaeda. “That’s a reality that the commander in chief has to confront.”

He said the administration has reviewed the legal issues involved in the drone strikes and is continually reviewing the matter.

But Carney would not speculate how the issues might be considered in the future.