Obama, Drones, and Transparency

Official: Obama to hand over white paper http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/06/us/drones-classified-document/index.html

Washington (CNN) – Amid new controversy over his administration’s targeted killing of American citizens overseas by drones, President Barack Obama has yielded to demands that he turn over to Congress classified Justice Department legal advice seeking to justify the policy, an administration official said. The president’s move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director nominee John Brennan and amid complaints from senators, including several Democrats, about secrecy surrounding the drone policy. “Today, as part of the president’s ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper,” an administration official said.

I’d like to see a long, fact-filled, open and public discussion about the use of drones and the criteria for theory use. As technology evolves and robots get more and more powerful, their use on the battlefield will become a much more pertinent question. And once they are used against the U.S. we’ll probably agree to some treaty level regulations on their use. IIRC, Gundam something or other spent a long time examaning this question from a moral/honor/courage/soldier perspective. This is something RPN will be keeping an eye on, and is.glad to have at least some of the rationale exposed to public eyes.