The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning will receive a classified document that seeks to justify the administration’s policy of targeting Americans overseas via drone attacks, chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said late Wednesday.
“I am pleased that the president has agreed to provide the Intelligence Committee with access to the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion regarding the use of lethal force in counterterrorism operations,” the California Democrat said in a statement.
“It is critical for the committee’s oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counterterrorism operations.”
The announcement came shortly after an administration official said that President Barack Obama had yielded to demands that he turn over to Congress the classified Justice Department legal advice that seeks to justify the policy.
The developments came the night before confirmation hearings are to be held for Obama’s CIA director nominee, John Brennan, and amid complaints from senators, including several Democrats, about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.
“Today, as part of the president’s ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper,” an administration official said.
The 16-page white paper — titled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaida or an Associated Force” — is a policy paper rather than an official legal document. …
Same as with Bush, he gets someone beholden to him to tell him that what he is doing is fine, even though it isn’t. People have the right to a fair trial, no matter what policy you try to set. Of course, if we secretly run Al Qaida, then this policy is just a kill switch for use against rogue agents. Question: What does “an Associated Force” mean? Everyone is “associated” in some way or another to everyone else. If I disagree with your politics, am I an Associated Force because Al Qaida disagrees as well? Is the Associated Press an Associated Force if it reports something you don’t want it to report about Al Qaida? In other words, is it your policy to kill anyone you want? Is that the real reason you want drones over US skies?
A five-year battle to provide long-term direction and funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came to an end February 14, as President Barack Obama signed H.R. 658, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 into law.
The bill provides $63.4 billion to fund the agency through 2015, including approximately $11 billion towards the FAA’s proposed Next Generation (“NextGen”) air traffic control system.