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CIA nominee to face questions about secrecy of drone strikes

When the Senate Intelligence Committee meets this week to consider the nomination of John Brennan to CIA director, it is expected to address the secrecy shrouding the drone killings of suspected terrorists. As chief counterterrorism adviser, Brennan played a prominent role in the killings. Committee Democrats have been asking to view the classified legal opinions justifying the killings of American citizens suspected of plotting terrorist acts. (Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2013, by Ken Dilanian)

In the meantime, NBC News revealed that it had obtained a summary of a Justice Department memo of the rationale for the killings of American citizens. The  16-page memo provides a wider definition of imminent attack and self-defense in justifying the attacks. (NBC News,  February 4, 2013, by Michael Isikoff)

A federal court denied a request for the legal memorandum for drone killings in January. The First Amendment Coalition filed its own lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco in June of last year. (FAC, June 21, 2012)

First Amendment activist Nat Hentoff criticized the government’s stonewalling: “Since these murders are presumably done for our national security, shouldn’t We The People know who is being killed in our name?” (Cato.org, January 23, 2013, by Nat Hentoff) -db



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