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Barack Obama, Drone Ranger

As Zero Dark Thirty has triggered a debate over torture, hopefully John Brennan's confirmation hearings raise drone critics.

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A key player in our government’s current drone program is John Brennan, who during the Bush presidency was a senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency and head of the National Counterterrorism Center. Reportedly, Barack Obama considered offering him the top job at the CIA in 2008, but public opposition — in reaction to the charges that the Bush White House had approved torture — caused Brennan to withdraw his name from consideration. Nonetheless, Obama kept him on as an adviser, and now, despite Brennan’s past notoriety, Obama officially has chosen him to head the CIA. This time, there’s been little criticism of the decision.

We hope Brennan’s upcoming confirmation hearings on February 7 will offer Congressional critics the chance to press him on drone attacks and whether the Obama administration in its fight against terror is functioning within the rule of law — or abusing presidential power when there has been no formal declaration of war.

Bill Moyers is the host of “Moyers & Company,” airing weekly on public television. More at: www.billmoyers.com/

Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the new series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.

 
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