Democratic and Republican Senators criticized President Barack Obama on Tuesday for not providing an administration official to testify at a subcommittee hearing on the use of drones to kill terrorists.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the White House should have been there to provide details of “its legal authority to engage in targeted killings and the internal checks and balances involved in U.S. drone strikes.”
“I am disappointed that the administration declined to provide witnesses to testify at today’s hearings," said Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
“More transparency is needed to maintain the support of the American people and the international community,” Durbin said Tuesday, The Huffington Post reported
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz said he shared Durbin’s disappointment.
“I’d like to echo the concern that the chairman raised and the disappointment that the Obama administration declined to send a witness.”
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During his State of the Union address, Obama pledged to work with Congress to make the drone program more transparent.
“I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world,” Obama said at the time.
The administration’s drone policy has united civil libertarians on the right with anti-war activists on the left in demanding that Obama clearly explain the legal authority and other parameters behind its use of drones against terrorists, including against American citizens suspected of terror activity.
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