News / USA

Obama to Release Classified Documents About Drone Targets

A US Predator droneA US Predator drone
x
A US Predator drone
A US Predator drone
VOA News
A top administration official says President Barack Obama has ordered the Justice Department to turn over classified legal documents justifying drone strikes on U.S. citizens overseas suspected of terrorism.

The official says the the papers will be handed over to two Congressional intelligence committees.

Eleven U.S. senators had demanded to see the legal opinions after a leaked Justice Department memo Tuesday broadened the rationale for targeting alleged terrorists.

The administration has previously justified such attacks if a terrorist strike is believed to be imminent. But the leaked memo says an American citizen may also be targeted for death for being part of an ongoing terror plot, and when officials determine that capturing a suspect is not possible.

Some U.S. lawmakers, legal experts and civil libertarians criticize the policy as condemning an American citizen without a fair trial.

The Obama administration has defended the policy since two separate strikes by unmanned aircraft killed three U.S. citizens in Yemen in 2011.

John Brennan, nominee for CIA Director, arrives at a meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Capitol Hill in Washington January 31, 2013.John Brennan, nominee for CIA Director, arrives at a meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Capitol Hill in Washington January 31, 2013.
x
John Brennan, nominee for CIA Director, arrives at a meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Capitol Hill in Washington January 31, 2013.
John Brennan, nominee for CIA Director, arrives at a meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Capitol Hill in Washington January 31, 2013.
Senators are expected to question John Brennan, President Obama's choice to head the CIA, about the drone policy during his confirmation hearing Thursday.

Brennan is currently Mr. Obama's top counterterrorism advisor and a strong supporter of the administration's anti-terror policies. He says the way in which U.S. forces use unmanned aircraft abroad are legal, ethical and highly effective. President Obama has said Brennan's counterterrorism work has made it harder for al-Qaida to plan attacks against the United States.

Brennan worked for the Central Intelligence Agency before taking up his current White House post. During his time as chief of the CIA team in Saudi Arabia, he is believed to have played a pivotal role in negotiations with Saudi leaders that produced an agreement for a base for U.S. unmanned aircraft in the kingdom.

Saudi-based drone aircraft have hunted down al-Qaida terrorists in neighboring Yemen.

Critics say such attacks too often lead to the deaths of innocent civilians, and they contend such tactics are immoral. Pakistan says it never gave blanket agreement for U.S. airstrikes on its territory, and it has strongly criticized the use of U.S. drones.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 06, 2013 11:26 AM
So much for "SECRET base", I guess nothing like helping the Islamists against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and such declarations will place the host country in its own dire predicament wrt "SECRETS". I guess it will have to be moved somewhere else... One step forward, in the war on terror, and three steps back by such revelations.
In Response

by: Professor_H from: USA
February 06, 2013 2:37 PM
This particular Saudi base was well known by jihadist leaders and the royal Saudi family has been embattled with its friends in the region for more than a year because of that. My real concern is longer range: If one side uses drones, the other side will do the same. Where will the other side find suitable targets?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs