TODAY   |  February 06, 2013

White House to face scrutiny over drone policy

Unmanned drones are among the most controversial weapons in the war on terror, used to strike al Qaeda targets worldwide, and the White House is under fire as a bipartisan group of senators demands more transparency about the strikes. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> the white house taking heat for a document that outlines the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists, including americans. nbc's white house correspondent, peter alexander has the latest on this. good morning, peter.

>> reporter: hi, matt. good morning to you. the white house is expected to face new scrutiny over its drone strike policy that's responsible for taking out more than 400 terrorist targets in pakistan and yemen alone. but what if that target is an american citizen ? this morning, new questions over whether the obama administration is overstepping its bounds. they're among the most controversial and secretive weapons in the war on terror , unmanned drones, used to strike alcoh al qaeda targets worldwide. under fire after nbc news obtained a memo that includes deadly strikes against u.s. citizens that are operational leaders of al qaeda are a lawful act of national self defense . among those targeted, an war al alawki, killed in yemen in 2011 .

>> it is a chilling dumt document. it sets out the government's intentions to kill american citizens.

>> reporter: demanding more transparency about the strikes and is expected to target john brennan during his cia confirmation hearings, beginning tomorrow. president obama on tuesday urged congress to act.

>> they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay economically damaging effect of the sequester for a few more months.

>> reporter: if you think of it as a t-bone stake, the sequester is like a butcher's knife, lobbing off a big piece. republicans want to avoid the cuts but dismissed the president's proposed solution outright. the white house has made other news this week, saying the president will head to israel for the first time for the first time since taking office this spring, savannah. he is scheduled to arrive there, but the white house won't confirm the exact date.