Rep. Mike Rogers speaks out about targeted drone killings
How should US handle War on Terror?
- Duration 7:13
- Date Feb 7, 2013
How should US handle War on Terror?
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We -- -- expected to be a spirited hearing for the president's pick to head the CIA lawmakers today are getting a look at the classified legal argument.
That justifies the targeting killing.
I've US citizens overseas you might remember a memo was leaked earlier this week.
NBC news those are -- so called white pages that were the catalyst for this broader conversation we've been having about drones.
These secret documents -- taught -- not today released now to the intelligence committee.
Are bigger than those white pages more sought after if you will -- like -- as the chairman of that intelligence committee.
And he joins us now -- congressman have you gotten a look at these legal documents.
I have a read this morning anything you can tell us about -- I understand your secret of course and classified -- anything -- out here.
You know not really -- it was what I thought was a solid legal argument.
You know the biggest thing here is why they believe the administration believe that they should not have to show.
Their oversight committee this particular document that's what's stunning to me I've gone through the legal document we have.
General journalistic memo back in June of last year we've been asking for this legal argument for some time.
Got this morning I've read through it I didn't see anything earth shattering in there and again sure I -- not I may disagree with some -- -- smaller issues but that general conclusion I agreed with them an enemy combatant is an enemy combatant.
It doesn't matter what their citizenship and now that -- CNET.
Do you think the public should see it -- No because some of the -- the information.
Even when they're citing legal pass legal cases.
Is very sensitive so it that it would reveal sources and methods of collection.
So that part is worthy of protection.
But that's why you have become an oversight committee and that's why I think it's so important that they not play this game about -- here take a peek at it we're gonna take it back this is very very sensitive.
We deal with far more sensitive information every single day on the committee.
It is our -- both statutory.
And constitutional responsibility for oversight.
Of these types of agencies.
And I that part I just don't understand and again I -- agree with their conclusion in their legal agreement.
Critics of the drone program.
I had the legal justification.
For -- taking out Americans are seasonality putter viewers -- only been three American families at a filed -- about this -- we're talking about a small number.
But critics this program say it's really a slippery slope in their concern is not just about today but the future.
How concerned are you that the legal justification for a drone program now may be -- -- somehow in the future by future administrations.
Well and I will tell you they went to great lengths in this legal document.
And it what was really look like an affidavit to a court almost.
The amount of information cited information.
That was collected.
To allow you to come to the conclusion that this individual -- -- -- in this particular case was an enemy combatant.
Now remember this this goes this has a long precedence.
So even in World War II where you had US.
Citizens joining enemy forces and fighting in combat.
To the United States of America and what happened then is -- the law decided that.
You that is not a defense you can't say well I can't shoot -- in that particular unit.
Even though they're -- that may because there may be a US citizen that doesn't count once you have joined the forces.
Are engaged in belligerent activities toward the United States you lose that right that's -- -- when you're overseas.
What's interesting they bring -- World War II is that we officially declared war and world war two and that something that critics go back to his perhaps congress needs to.
If you will war on terror whenever it is an official declaration and to give further justification for these types of killings do you think that's something that congress should -- More well we did pass.
Is an expansion of the authority of the president.
To go after al-Qaeda and other things -- as a result of that by law that is already in statute.
George Bush started it with an executive order that laid out vote with all the finding.
About what we would do and and going after al-Qaeda which -- declare war on the United States.
And then subsequent adjustments in the Obama administration to do that.
So I again I believe that the legal justification is there congress did say we have this.
Unique say this is not a nation state.
But it is transnational meaning it it operates in several different states so we did give the authority we are targeting those who are enemy combatants -- Anything that indicate that authority for from now to that that extends you know here we are in a decade away from that -- say you feel that extends until.
Well you have al-Qaeda just you know.
I'm very recently trying to that killed the US.
Citizens including the most recent one.
In Algeria when they took over the hostages but in 2009.
They tried to blow up an aircraft.
Over the city of Detroit when they were landing on Christmas Day which was a very real very serious event but but for a quarter of an inch.
That device would have gone off.
Killing hundreds on the airplane and who knows how many hundreds on the ground right.
It was a very densely populated so they are still under attack now we should have to we should be able to go after and get after -- -- folks overseas so they don't get.
Your your plans are taken at the beginning -- end to the war on terror it is is challenging to say -- Atlantis could legally get you -- your thoughts on this because we've talked.
A great deal on the past about your feelings about this administration.
Leaking information to the press and -- highly classified.
I'd highly classified situations and -- serious operations like the the moderate.
How concerned are you would that a man that that you mocked and criticized and being at the center of some of these leaks.
May be the nation's top spot.
And for the record I've never said that John Brennan was the center of the weeks I have said that the administration that concerns me.
Has had -- series of leaks that are now I have been very very damaging.
So I think those -- that's a line of questioning that mr.
Brennan should have to go through the senate and as I understand it he will.
Because you can't have a foreign policy that is delivered.
By a leak to the American press it's dangerous.
And we know it's cost -- sources we know it's cost us operations.
We know -- put in jeopardy at certain at least a part of the time.
Members of our special forces units.
That may have been involved in those rates we have to protect their families.
So it is really really important that they get the notion that yes foreign policy is hard which you have to sell it in a way that does not.
Disclose classified information in that -- that's been concerning to me.
I hope that they have gotten that message I think today we'll hear a lot about that when the senate does there are questioning of mr.
Congressman thank you very much for the time today and with the busy when always -- at a Capitol Hill we always appreciate you joining us.
Thank you thanks thanks thanks and.