News / USA

US Official Defends Drone Strikes After Leaked Memo

CIA Director nominee John Brennan defends President Barack Obama’s policies in the war on terror as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, February. 7, 2013, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
CIA Director nominee John Brennan defends President Barack Obama’s policies in the war on terror as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, February. 7, 2013, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Michael Bowman
President Barack Obama’s pick for CIA director says U.S. drone strikes are carried out judiciously and in compliance with federal law. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence questioned counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan days after an administration memo surfaced that provided a legal justification for drone strikes targeting U.S. terror suspects abroad.
 
U.S. drones have killed scores of suspected terrorists in faraway lands. But in approving strikes against a U.S. citizen, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden fears President Obama could be acting as judge, jury and executioner.

“It is the idea of giving any president unfettered power to kill an American without checks and balances that is so troubling," said Wyden. "Every American has the right to know when their government believes it is allowed to kill them.”

Testifying at his confirmation hearing, CIA director nominee John Brennan defended the drone program.

“We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there is no other alternative to taking an action that is going to mitigate that threat," said Brennan.

US Official Defends Drone Program after Leaked Memoi
X
February 08, 2013 2:16 PM
President Barack Obama’s pick for CIA director says U.S. drone strikes are carried out judiciously and in compliance with federal law. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence questioned counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan days after an administration memo surfaced that provides legal justification for drone strikes targeting U.S. terror suspects abroad.

The hearing was interrupted by protesters condemning the deaths of innocent bystanders in drone strikes.

Brennan said the American public is misinformed about the drone program, adding that the CIA prefers to capture terrorists.

“I never believe it is better to kill a terrorist than to detain him," he said. "We want to detain as many terrorists as possible so we can elicit intelligence from them in an appropriate manner and disrupt terrorist attacks.”

As for the treatment of detainees, Brennan said waterboarding is “reprehensible”.

“It is something that should have been banned long ago. It never should have taken place, in my view," he said.

Drones are low-cost, lethal machines, according to Georgetown University national security expert Christopher Swift.

“From a purely counter-terrorism operations standpoint, drones have proven to be extremely effective in Pakistan and in Yemen," said Swift.

But their use comes at a price: they fan local anti-U.S. sentiment.

“To the extent that our use of force in somebody else’s country creates political resentment, or feeds into concerns about colonialism or American imperialism, or to the extent that it reinforces this notion that the United States is at war with Islam, it is highly problematic for us," he said.

If confirmed, Brennan would follow David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after an extramarital affair came to light.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid