At least three Americans have been killed in drone strikes, including al-Awlaki's 16-year-old U.S.-born son, who the government said was collateral damage in a separate strike that targeted a senior al Qaeda figure.
Late Tuesday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the drone program as described in the DOJ documents, calling them "legal," "ethical," and "wise."
"Sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al Qaeda terrorists in order to prevent attacks on the United States and to save American lives," Carney said. "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. These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise."
Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this report.