After NBC news obtained a memo outlining some of the legal justifications for killing American citizens abroad with drones, the White House has given in to pressure from Congress and turned over the DOJ’s classified legal justification for the drone warfare program. This release comes just before the architect of the drone program, John Brennan, faces off with the Senate Judiciary Committee today in his confirmation hearing to head up the CIA.
Several hundred drone strikes have been launched against targets all over the Middle East, Asia, and Africa killing thousands of people including so-called terrorists and innocent civilians. Three Americans citizens have also been killed in targeted drone strikes – raising questions about due process and the president’s war powers. Today, our Senators should grill John Brennan about the legality and necessity of this drone warfare program, because, when former Bush adviser John Bolton praises the drone program as a “consistent” extension of the Bush policies, then you know something is terribly wrong.
This isn’t about drones – it’s about our relationship with the rest of the world. The long-term effects of drone warfare are not fully understood – and tragically – they may not be understood until years down the road when the blowback occurs.