President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser has publicly confirmed that the United States has used drones to conduct targeted killings overseas. John Brennan spoke on Monday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He detailed and defended the killings.
John Brennan: "President Obama believes that, done carefully, deliberately and responsibly, we can be more transparent and still ensure our nation’s security. So let me say it as simply as I can. Yes, in full accordance with the law and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States and to save American lives, the United States government conducts targeted strikes against specific al-Qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft, often referred to publicly as drones. And I’m here today because President Obama has instructed us to be more open with the American people about these efforts."
Obama adviser John Brennan’s speech was disrupted by Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. Over the weekend Benjamin helped organize the International Drone Summit in Washington, D.C.
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."