House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not sure whether the public should be told when the federal government kills an American citizen.
"Maybe. It just depends," she said in an interview with The Huffington Post this week, when asked whether the administration should acknowledge when it targets a U.S. citizen in a drone strike.
Pelosi disputed the assertion that Democrats are less critical of the drone program than they would have been if George W. Bush were still president, arguing, "Those opposed are pretty critical, and other people are just listening to see what this is and why this is necessary, because we're in a different world."
But she also hinted at another reason that the administration may be getting the benefit of the doubt from some lawmakers:
"It's interesting how popular it is in the public," she said, recalling that the same polling dynamic prevailed during the fight over warrantless wiretaps. "People just want to be protected. And I saw that when we were fighting them on surveillance, the domestic surveillance. People just want to be protected: 'You go out there and do it. I'll criticize you, but I want to be protected.'"