Home > Human Rights > John Brennan Hearings: What is the Legal Basis for Drone Targeted Killings? | The Real News, Guardian

John Brennan Hearings: What is the Legal Basis for Drone Targeted Killings? | The Real News, Guardian

Michael Ratner: There’s no reason why the legal argument defending targeted killing should not be made public

Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says:

“The rule of law is not in peril; it is no more. The country under Obama is utterly lawless. There is nothing legal or moral about murdering with drones or assassinations, continuing indefinite detention, military commissions and renditions. There is nothing legal or moral about attacking other countries such as Yemen, Pakistan or Libya. There is nothing legal or moral about a massive surveillance state. And then just to make sure no one reveals our evil we persecute and jail our truth tellers: [Julian] Assange, [Bradley] Manning, [Jeremy] Hammond, [John] Kirakou, while the real criminals go free. What you are seeing here is the recognition by the U.S. that it is weakening as a world power and it is striking out in ways that aren’t always rational but that are certainly inhuman and lawless.”


John Brennan denied at his Senate confirmation hearing as CIA director accusations that he played a central role in the agency’s torture of suspected terrorists, and suggested he was misled as a CIA senior official over the value of information obtained through waterboarding.

For more on this story, visit: Brennan rejects CIA torture claims in confident display at Senate hearing | World news | guardian.co.uk.

The New York TimesScott Shane (1/7/13), reporting on the news that President Barack Obama plans to nominate his terrorism adviser John Brennan to be head of the CIA, writes:

John Brennan at CSIS

John Brennan (photo: CSIS)

The president had considered naming Mr. Brennan to head the CIA when he took office in 2009. But some human rights advocates protested, claiming that as a top agency official under President George W. Bush, Mr. Brennan had supported, or at least had failed to stop, the use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding that are widely considered to be torture. Mr. Brennan denied those accusations but withdrew from consideration, and Mr. Obama gave him the advisory position, which did not require Senate confirmation.

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