Brennan Vows Dialog on CIA Strikes

In his confirmation hearing last week to be CIA director, John Brennan pledged that, if confirmed for the post, he would engage in a conversation with Congress about the agency’s use of remotely piloted aircraft to carry out targeted killings of terrorists. The fight against al Qaeda and its associates has sometimes involved lethal force “outside the hot battlefield of Afghanistan,” and there remains a great deal of debate about the CIA’s role, and authority, over such aerial strikes, said Brennan during his Feb. 7 appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “It is understandable that there is great interest in the legal basis as well as the thresholds, criteria, processes, procedures, approvals, and reviews of such actions,” said Brennan. “If confirmed, I would endeavor to keep this committee fully and currently informed, not only because it is required by law, but because you can neither perform your oversight function nor support the mission of the CIA if you are kept in the dark,” he added. President Obama last month tapped Brennan, his counterterrorism advisor, to lead the CIA.