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Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who looked at the documents last week and has been perhaps the most vocal critic of Barron's confirmation, passionately argued that the releases aren't enough.
"It isn't just about seeing the memos. I believe it's about what the memos themselves say," he said during Wednesday's hearing. "I believe the memos, at their very core, disrespect the American Bill of Rights."
Paul warned that “David Barron has written a defense of executions of American citizens not involved in combat. Make no mistake, these memos do not limit drone executions to one man. These memos become historic precedent for killing Americans abroad."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., responded Thursday with a passionate defense of the administration’s targeting.
"We're dealing with reality here, not Alice in Wonderland," Leahy said. "The attorney general had confirmed Anwar al-Awlaki was the only American targeted and killed."
Hoping to circumvent what they said was the unfair obstruction of Obama's judicial nominees and executive appointments, Senate Democrats in November changed parliamentary rules so that only a simple majority of senators, rather than a 60-vote supermajority, would be necessary for confirmation.
The final vote on Barron was split primarily along party lines, with 53 supporting the nomination and 45 voting against it, paving the way for Barron's lifetime appointment to a court just one rung below the nation's highest.
In December 2013, an American drone struck a wedding convoy in Yemen, killing a dozen civilians; Journalist Iona Craig went there for the first in-depth account of what happened, who the target may have been and the what the consequences were on the ground.
Obama administration official says FOIA request for document will not be appealed, but no timeline for release
Suspected Al-Qaeda member is in an unspecified country that is opposed to US military action on its soil