Congress may act to rein in Obama’s deadly drone policy
Congress is considering doing something about the Obama’s deadly use of drones, especially in the United States against Americans. With the newly surfaced information that the Justice Department believes that drone strikes can be used more widely, many in Congress are concerned.
On Thursday, John Brennan, Obama’s pick for head of the CIA, will be present for a hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It is expected that Senators will ask Brennan his opinion of the drone program. Perhaps he will pull a “Hagel” and refer everything to the president’s policy rather than sharing his own views. Of course, Brennan will be advising the president, so he should have his own opinion.
“It has to be in the agenda of this Congress to reconsider the scope of action of drones and use of deadly force by the United States around the world because the original authorization of use of force, I think, is being strained to its limits,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in a recent interview.
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the number two Democrat in the House, said Tuesday that “it deserves a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens but other citizens as well.”
Hoyer added: “We ought to carefully review our policies as a country.”
According to the AP:
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee likely will hold hearings on U.S. drone policy, an aide said Tuesday, and Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, both have quietly expressed concerns about the deadly operations. And earlier this week, a group of 11 Democratic and Republican senators urged President Barack Obama to release a classified Justice Department legal opinion justifying when U.S. counterterror missions, including drone strikes, can be used to kill American citizens abroad.
Without those documents, it’s impossible for Congress and the public to decide “whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the president’s power to deliberately kill Americans is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards,” the senators wrote.
Congress should act. It should start with reviewing the Patriot Act, and removing the portions that are no longer applicable, that infringe on the rights of American citizens. And, Congress should make it clear to Obama that he does not have authorization to kill American citizens anywhere. If the drones are used to target our enemies overseas, that is a military operation and could be explained. However, the fear among the liberty-minded citizens of the United States is that President Obama will abuse the use of these drones.
The White House claims that these drone strikes are being used against Al-Qaeda and that this was made legal after 9/11. However, Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, and the documents recently uncovered by NBC news, seem to imply that the government has the right to use the drones against American citizens — anywhere.
Remember when the White House was saying that the Tea Party members may be terrorists?
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- Congress considers putting limits on drone strikes (news.yahoo.com)
- Congress Considers Limiting President’s Drone Authority (news.antiwar.com)
- Legal reasoning behind drone strikes revealed for the first time (thetimes.co.uk)
- Justice Department Paper on Drones Leaked (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
- US Congress eyes limits on drones as memo details broad grounds for strikes against al-Qaida (timescolonist.com)
- Watch: License to Kill: Government Authorizes Drone Strikes on US Citizens (abcnews.go.com)
- Senators ask Obama for justification of drones (politico.com)
- Memo justifies drone kills even with patchy intelligence (Reuters) (newsdaily.com)
- Memo justifies drone kills even with patchy intelligence (reuters.com)
- Obama admin: Drones can target Americans abroad based on one official’s opinion (hotair.com)