Lawmakers test legal waters for regulating drones
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are considering whether Congress should set up a special court to decide when drones can kill American al-Qaida suspects overseas, much as a secret court now grants permission for surveillance. The effort, after CIA Director-designate John Brennan's vigorous defense of a drone attack that killed U.S. citizens, reflects a philosophical struggle in government over remote warfare.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, spelled it out at the start of Brennan's confirmation hearing on Thursday. She declared that she intended to review proposals for "legislation to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in a manner consistent with our values and the proposal to create an analogue of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the conduct of such strikes."
And Sen. Angus King Jr., in a letter Friday to senior leaders of the panel, suggested an "independent process - similar to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court - to provide an appropriate check on the executive branch's procedure for determining whether using lethal force in a foreign country against a U.S. citizen would be lawful."
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