Justifying Drone Strikes?

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Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 5:13pm

Obama administration's legal justification for targeted drone strikes center stage at John Brennan's CIA confirmation hearing.

At John Brennan's Senate confirmation hearing Thursday the issue was not his ability to be CIA Director.

He's a former top agent and was White House Counter-terrorism Chief when Osama Bin Laden was killed,
but protesters delayed the hearing, objecting to what they call CIA torture and U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

The administration's legal justification for the drone strikes was finally released to Congress Thursday, along with a plan for a closed court to review attack plans.

"We remain at war with Al Qaeda and its associated forces, which despite the substantial progress we have made against them still seem to carry out deadly strikes against our homeland and our citizens," Brennan noted.

Drone strikes are on the increase.

There were just 50 under president George W. Bush.

So far there have been 360 under President Obama.

That fact was applauded by Brennan.

"It's this surgical precision, the ability, with laser-like focus, to eliminate the cancerous tumor called an al-Qaeda terrorist," he explains.

Al Qaeda's Anwar Al-Alawki, killed by a drone in 2011, was a U.S. citizen, never charged with a crime.

Some democrats demand less secrecy.

"Every American has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them," argued Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Despite the drone controversy Brennan looks like a sure bet to win confirmation to head the CIA.

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