Saying that President Barack Obama “has instructed us to be more open with the American people” in the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists abroad, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Monday that the controversial strikes are “ethical and just,” with each one being carefully vetted.
“As a matter of international law, the United States is in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces, in response to the 9/11 attacks, and we may also use force consistent with our inherent right of national self-defense,” Brennan said in prepared remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Medea Benjamin: “How many people are you willing to sacrifice? Why are you lying to the American people and not saying how many innocents have been killed? I speak out on behalf of Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old in Pakistan, who was killed because he wanted to document the drone strikes. I speak out on behalf of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old born in Denver, killed in Yemen, just because his father was someone we don’t like. I speak out on behalf of the Constitution, on behalf of the rule of law. I love the rule of law. I love my country. You are making us less safe by killing so many innocent people.”
“These targeted strikes are legal,” he said, citing legal opinions from the administration, the U.S. Constitution and the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Brennan, in June 2011, asserted that in the preceding 12 months, “there hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.”