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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid