Assessing administration's methods in War on Terror
NYT's Peter Baker on Brennan’s confirmation hearing
- Duration 4:25
- Date Feb 7, 2013
NYT's Peter Baker on Brennan’s confirmation hearing
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It in this all right we're listening lied to senate confirmation hearing -- John Olin brown in his Shiite or CIA director nominee under President Bush some some very dramatic vivid tense testimony going on talked about -- you talked about cyber terror -- -- terror.
Let's bring in mr.
Peter Baker a -- a mighty works of New York Times Peter have you been listening to the testimony.
I think here -- some of it yes very interesting is that it's very interest -- can we can we -- this reason I ask that to bring on today's.
In 2009 you wrote a great piece is the transition from.
President Bush to President Obama and President Obama at the time had a lot of plants he wanted to close gitmo we -- to do a lot of things in the terror and Intel community.
And you wrote about how.
During the inauguration set up for the inauguration a lot of those things a lot of those plans changed if you can you give us a quick -- two segments on that first sure.
I think what President Obama as a candidate ran against President Bush's first term but he -- President Bush's second term -- he didn't.
I fully realizes that President Bush by the time he left office had already.
Modified a lot of counterterrorism policies -- been so controversial so that by the time President Obama took over.
He found that that he actually agreed with a lot of the things that he was inheriting not everything he made modifications.
But a lot of what -- -- he took over from President Bush he kept in place and what and one of those is John Brennan right there he kept president.
President Bush's pick.
For the national counter terrorist center director of John Brennan let's talk a little bit about what you heard him talk speak about -- he said.
They are conducted the drone strikes I currently there -- conducted in full compliance with the law.
Any surprise at this is from you you watch this stuff is that frequency the drone attacks.
Well you know essentially of course the -- attacks started in Indian and an earnest and President -- last year President Obama took over from that they were useful.
Instrument in the war on terror and and really accelerated them.
A lot during his last four years whether they're legal or not been one of the big questions that that this administration has been struggling to answer publicly they they have not.
Engages fully with the questions about this as.
As a lot of people have -- to.
To gauge of what does.
The government have power to do in these -- circumstance where the limits what you know who makes these decisions.
Very important questions it -- report under President Bush and are important to President Obama.
If -- I don't wanna run the summit in 2009.
Erik -- at the Department of Justice said that waterboarding.
It was torture and it it it at their present didn't have the right to make that call.
Because obviously he's talking about President Bush.
Yes there's a kill -- New York Times published a kill list of President Obama had a special list that he chose who was gonna be targeted with the drone strikes -- for for for killing.
-- -- -- 180 square that circle you know if waterboarding is it is beyond the scope of the president but it summarily killing someone is not.
Right it raises a real moral question right is what's what's more moral is is is this in the enhanced interrogation techniques as they call them.
Torture is their critics call that.
Or -- sort of you know -- without due process kind of.
Death strikes from the air and it's a question they have had a hard time I think answering.
Think one of the things they would say is a difference between how we handle somebody wants -- in our custody.
As somebody who is as opposed somebody's out in the battlefield as these.
People in Pakistan and Yemen in theory are that they're defining those areas as an active war zone effect okay.
-- listen to senator Levin.
Brennan he was he wanted him to answer whether mr.
-- thought waterboarding.
Was torture numbers -- want to answer the question he -- should be banned but I hear he was insistent what do you think what what was he going for there.
And -- he's trying to avoid tripping up the legal.
Arguments that the United States government has argue that.
You know that these were legal things and if they were not then obviously exposes.
People to liability that John -- which -- I assume would just as soon.
Avoid you know President Obama came in said he.
Signed the order banning these techniques we didn't want to have.
There look backwards said Eric Holder investigated for awhile eventually shut that down so they didn't want to go back and revisit that argument is simply wanted to make it go away.
I want to unless thought that would give what you go to -- but hang in for a second just I've noticed that they.
They tried to get mr.
Brennan to talk about authorize -- to mr.
Brennan said that's an oxymoron there's no such thing as an authorized leak but they -- -- Peter Baker thank you very much for joining us.