Here is something to contemplate that places Senators questioning about the use of drones in perspective.
Drones were developed and acquired with the full support of Congress, albeit some of the process shrouded in secrecy as that is normal for weapon systems like this. To have received funding, drones, their concept and anticipated deployment, was tested thoroughly under congressional oversight and with executive review and approval, passing before Justice along the way.
Now, for Senators or Congressional representatives to arrive at a hearing to ask questions about their use makes the "horse-out-of-the-barn" metaphor appropriate.
To refine understanding about using them against American citizens, the circumstance was that an American Muslim joined al Qaeda and his whereabouts were learned through intelligence that he was living and plotting with like-kinds at a location in Africa. Once intelligence was precise, a drone was dispatched and nailed him.
The poor guy was not brought back to the US for a trial because justice could not be rendered as speedily as a kaboom. Is that correct?
Drones and preemptive strikes are in the arsenal. Their use puts fear right where it belongs, in the souls of terrorists.
For sure, the CIA and military needed to tighten up their use of enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding. By the way, they used waterboarding when I was in Army officer candidate school. We all knew that it was coming and dreaded it. But, when it was over, we learned that it was survivable and that was the point.
“The Topline: Capitol Hill was buzzing Thursday as the Defense secretary, chairman of the Joint Chiefs and President Obama’s CIA director nominee all testified in Senate hearings.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey appeared in the morning before the Armed Services Committee on last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, while Obama’s counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, appeared before a Senate Intelligence panel for his confirmation hearing in the afternoon.
Code Pink protesters crashed the party, too, causing Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to clear the room.
President Obama’s nominee to lead the CIA sparred with top Senate Democrats during Thursday's confirmation hearing over the controversial use of armed drones against suspected terrorists.
Brennan defended the use of drones, reiterating to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that armed drone strikes are executed with "extraordinary care."
But panel member Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) questioned the CIA's ability to conduct the drone program in accordance with U.S. and international law.
Citing the agency's massively flawed interrogation and detention program, along with the CIA's unwillingness to disclose details of that program, Rockefeller warned that those mistakes could not be repeated in the armed drone program.
"There can never be that kind of situation again," he said.
The program is at the center of a storm of controversy over the administration’s legal defense for using drones to kill U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism.
Senators have demanded more information from the administration on its legal rationale.
Brennan said the administration has been open to lawmakers' requests, and went one step further, saying if an individual, American or otherwise, is mistakenly targeted and killed as a suspected terrorist, CIA should publicly admit the mistake and the strike itself.
"As far as I am concerned ... the U.S. should [publicly] acknowledge it," he said.
The answer highlighted Brennan's calm and informed demeanor during the hearing as he faced off with senators.
"I think you are the right man for the job," Rockefeller told Brennan.
"The only guy for the job," he added."