The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is to side with national security over civil liberties. That instinct has been true throughout history, and has been acted on by liberal presidents and core conservatives.
The search for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, who's suspected of killing a police officer and two other people, has stretched across a large area. It's feared he's intent on killing more officers.
There was another U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday. At least three people were killed when missiles struck a compound in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan. The strike comes as Washington debates the use of drones and not long after Ambassador Sherry Rehman said the use of drones was a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and international law. Throughout Pakistan, popular reaction to the drone strikes continues to be vociferously negative. Robert Siegel talks to Jackie Northam.
The Obama administration has relied heavily on its drone program, but prefers not to talk about it. Yet drones and interrogation practices came under scrutiny as CIA nominee John Brennan testified before a Senate committee.
As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. It's unlikely his appointment as CIA director is in trouble, but he's likely to face questions on drones as well as the agency's interrogation policies.
The decision to grant lawmakers access to the classified information comes a day before the president's pick to head the CIA has his confirmation hearing. The classified information details the rationale for targeted strikes against U.S. citizens believed to have links to al-Qaida.
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