WASHINGTON (AP) CIA Director-designate John Brennan's vigorous defense of drone strikes to kill terror suspects even American citizens overseas is causing key lawmakers to consider lifting secrecy from what has become an important weapon in the fight against al-Qaida.
Brennan, President Barack Obama's top counterterror adviser, was grilled for more than three hours Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the drone program he leads, as well as on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques during the Bush administration, which he denounced, and on leaks of classified information to the media, which Brennan vehemently denied being a part of.
The committee's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters after the hearing that she wanted to open more of the program to the public so U.S. officials can acknowledge the strikes and correct what she said were exaggerated reports of civilian casualties.
Feinstein said she and other senators were considering legislation to set up a special court system to regulate drone strikes, similar to the one that signs off on government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases.
Speaking with uncharacteristic openness about the classified program, Feinstein said that the CIA had allowed her staff to make more than 30 visits to the agency's northern Virginia headquarters to monitor strikes but that such transparency needed to be increased. Her comments came after the White House, under pressure from the committee, gave senators on the panel a Justice Department memo outlining the legal justification for drone strikes. But senators complained that their staff wasn't allowed to see it.
"I think the process set up internally is a solid process," Feinstein said of the methods used to decide when to launch drones and against whom, but added: "I think there's an absence of knowing exactly who is responsible for what decision. So I think we need to look at this whole process and figure a way to make it transparent and identifiable."
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel also had been looking at establishing a "court-like entity" to review the strikes.
"I think the House and Senate ought to put their heads together and come up with some way to require either initially or after the fact, a review of an operation when it takes the life of an American citizen," Schiff said.....snip~
Lawmakers consider regulating drone strikes - Yahoo! News
<<<<< More here, way more.
Did Brennan's Testimony prove anything about the issue of American Citizens abroad or anywhere else? Are the Democrats grandstanding over this issue? Feinstein hits the nail on the head about knowing who is exactly responsible. As Holder explained it just didn't have to be the President but any Senior officials that could make the call.
Consider already one City has filed a resolution concerning the use of Drones over an American City. Which their idea was so that other cities would do the same thing. Which more and more of them doing so puts it on the National level. But do we need the creation of a Special Court system to Regulate Drone Strikes?