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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs