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And -- -- Capitol Hill and the fiery clash over drones and the targeting and killing of Americans CIA director nominee.
John Brennan duking -- out what senators from both political parties -- and staunchly defending the Obama administration's use of drones against Americans.
I'd like to ask you about the status.
Of the administration's.
Efforts to institutionalize.
Rules and procedures for the conduct of drone strikes.
How you see your role as CIA director.
In that approval process.
The president has insisted that any actions we take will be legally grounded.
We'll be thoroughly.
Will have the appropriates.
Review process approval process.
Before any action is contemplated.
Including those actions that might involve the use of lethal force the Fifth Amendment is pretty clear.
No deprivation of life liberty or property without due process of law.
And we're depriving American citizens of their life will be target -- drowned if the executive branch makes a mistake.
And kills the wrong person or a group of the wrong people -- should the government acknowledged that.
I believe we need to acknowledge it and -- we believe we need to acknowledge it.
Our foreign partners.
We need to acknowledge its publicly.
-- when this committee from within ten years.
And with the exception of mr.
Panetta I feel I've been jerked around -- -- CIA director my question to you.
Knowing your background.
Knowing you're jesuit education.
Knowing -- -- I think your values -- Can I have your words that you -- going to be very forthcoming with this.
To speak truth to power to speak truth about power and even when it's uncomfortable but where we're going to have to probe and the way.
Get this -- decent way to go.
What we're seeing right -- President Reagan -- can sure does pay any trouble would this -- program this drone program to kill Americans overseas if it's not that they are.
Somehow associated with -- tighter.
-- I've never seen any bigger claim of an assertion of the -- presence in this not presidential it's just -- -- -- -- for himself and for high -- subordinates to identify what they consider a threat imminent threat and some foreign country.
The right to use hellfire missiles to kill them even if they are an American citizen.
I mean I've never heard of this before and I don't think it's gonna stand I think the congress United States.
Which has the power over declarations of war will have to get in on this and secondly I think there's got to be some kind of judicial review when you're killing Americans abroad deliver.
-- and there's after a video coming out tour which of course he gave me that.
Copy of first and what struck me is it says there's about Richard -- -- is if you invite David Frost and the quotas and quotas.
When the president does it that means that it is not -- don't.
That was Richard Nixon talking to David Frost about what were called black bag job surreptitious entries.
Breaking in to various terrorist organization weatherman.
Ku Klux Klan and black Panthers in order to prevent killing and atrocities like -- firebombing of that Greenwich Village.
-- -- -- -- -- But this should the -- I'm -- he never asserted the right.
To kill Americans -- since he was asserting -- right basically to protect American citizens were spray -- this is far beyond that but look at the way the reaction.
To Richard Nixon.
Mean Nixon was really discriminate people were sickened by this was awful that she imperial presidency but this is astonishing -- -- Trixie congress doing who has been in a minute -- you know -- I wish it were so we don't -- what happened on 9/11 we know you say the word terrorism and we aren't we -- jumped as we should because those terrible economic.
But you know -- -- factors were using drones in countries where we're not at war.
Word that word using that that a pay that reasoning put on intelligence we know -- intelligence has been faulty before.
We have a broad definition of what imminent is it could be something -- -- person may plan to do you know six months or eight months from now it's not urgent and we have unnamed persons are unknown government officials.
Make -- decisions.
I was glad to see an opportunity and are going from a number of conservative Republicans are very hawkish -- believe drones are good weapons.
Basically they're appalled by the president's claim here.
-- I think we got to take a look at this -- -- situation and effective weapon no doubt about it.
But we are we killing his Rumsfeld -- are we killing -- creating more terrorists than we're killing.
When we went into Afghanistan 2001.
We took down the al-Qaeda.
For now al-Qaeda as well in six or seven countries Pakistan Afghanistan.
Syria Iraq Libya and Molly.
This is the twelfth year of the war -- -- quote and al-Qaeda has expanded the theater of operations across two and 3COM match.
The -- is are we losing this war are we winning and if we're creating more terrorists than we're killing we are losing the war and we are in -- -- little war we're changing the rules of engagement coming British Alina that this -- conceivably receive drone coming this way at some point for -- -- Not exactly in the present cannot unilaterally.
Assert a right to kill American solutions -- -- constitutional law professor.
Has she -- -- constitution.
Well let me -- that we should see what did the at congressional oversight does whether -- you know to what extent we we get more information about the program because -- we don't we're not get a lot.
But everybody looked every American I think -- realizes this is an effective weapon.
And when you go after folks you might have some collateral damage here and after that we can do army all American center for now we -- targeting Americans and it's not end the war theater packed.
-- -- -- If -- in Yemen where else is it.
Who decides where else.
Do you know I have a pet safety I think we even could send Navy SEALs in and arrest somebody who were so packed with a Navy SEALs and -- -- -- -- -- a -- -- -- -- there -- other -- -- -- -- -- -- sort of if -- -- -- -- -- -- Bloomberg got this -- is soft you can use to -- drones on.
-- hundreds and hundreds of strikes which you can certainly use them if you're talking about an American citizen because you're not going to be not many of those.
Pat thank -- next is there.
Retired air force colonel Martha my -- oversaw counterterrorism -- in Africa from 2007 to 2010 she joins us.
My Spanish senior very different view of this drone program what is your thought on the strong programming part in Americans overseas.
-- -- any news to.
Big questions here obvious in the first one is.
Is it legal and the second one is is if the -- strategy and is a good policy.
So I'm not an international lawyer and -- set the table.
With many experts on this and this is really one of the main issues -- is going on a debate this week is.
Do we consider that these strikes are legal under international law.
There's a strong view that says absolutely.
Especially in Pakistan but ongoing operations in Afghanistan.
Pakistan being a safe -- -- How -- I guess my partner nation.
Loves you and is unwilling and -- yet.
Sure you know yeah their war and they well al-Qaeda has declared a war on the United States.
And there operations are global and so.
-- -- -- our own log on conflict and -- our -- authorization the use of military force passed after 9/11.
We are allowed to target any terrorist assets that are associated with -- al-Qaeda or its operatives.
And that includes Yemen and Somalia and other places.
-- question is whether it's good policy.
And strategically Smart you know apple having -- those operations.
For Africa I can give you my perspective on that as an operator.
I mean we go through incredible scrutiny for these targets in order to positively identify them.
And sure yeah and I assume that that.
Provide an -- incredible scrutiny and -- you know just you know I'm on the outside looking in I concede that right -- -- -- that we've had so many incredibly grotesque.
That is very hard for me just sort of accept that some sort of nameless person under government higher official decides it's some Americans in some country that we're not -- -- -- is somehow associate was what al-Qaeda as good use of it imminently and also the person's disintegrated without any sort of rehab process or -- -- -- -- unilateral decision.
And it say it's very I would all the intelligence failures for me to feel you know an enormous level of comfort would that.
Well if you're specifically it's.
In enemy action against Americans then in the course of history.
There's citizenship is not protected them from being an enemy combatant and treated that way.
So the -- out who didn't I didn't.
It was whether it's a level of our intelligence.
Is right -- it got there -- Americans who aren't just so citadel Qaeda that we false clear incorrectly or mistakenly whatever they embarrassed the problem.
Well -- heading again overs.
Overseen the operations in Afghanistan for our military and our counterterrorism operations I can only tell you that the scrutiny is a very high as.
These individuals are looked -- over many years.
-- Association and al-Qaeda and their activities and operations before they can even.
Get to where they are targetable.
Then once they are targetable then there's a whole another level of intelligence effort that has to come together.
To make sure that you positively identified that person at that location and with a very -- -- collateral damage estimation that's gonna minimize.
Hustling casualties and that process but you know there and we're working far more targets -- we actually actually.
Operate against because -- scrutiny is so high.
I mega tax Republican I didn't I don't like that then goes so much to talk about I'm sure we talk about desperate days to come -- -- -- much Martha shirt.