US lawmakers urge 'closer inspection' of Obama's drone programme
Washington, Feb. 11 : President Barack Obama's use of unmanned drones to kill Americans suspected of having links to the al-Qaeda deserves closer inspection, lawmakers have said.
Obama's stance towards the terrorist threats facing the United States has left some Democrats and Republicans nervous about the use of unmanned drones targeting the country's enemies.
According to Fox News, Senator Dick Durbin said that the drone policy is really unfolding, adding that most of this has not been disclosed.
Obama had directed the Justice Department to give the congressional intelligence committees access to classified legal advice providing the government's rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaeda abroad, the report said.
That 2012 memo outlined the Obama administration's decision to kill al-Qaeda suspects without evidence that specific and imminent plots were being planned against the United States.
The nomination of John Brennan, Obama's counter-terrorism adviser who oversaw many of the drone strikes, kick-started the discussion about how the United States prosecutes its fight against the terrorist group.
Senator Angus King, an independent, said he prefer a review before the remote-operated aircraft fire on someone.
He said that 'it made him uncomfortable that the president, whoever it is, is the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner, all rolled into one.'
Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, himself a former CIA chief, suggested 'some check' on a president's ability to order drone strikes against American al-Qaeda operatives would be appropriate and lent support to creating a special court that would review such requests, the report said.
According to the report, other lawmakers seemed leery of the programme's current reach even as they lined up against the oversight proposals.
Republican Senator John McCain said a Feinstein-backed oversight panel would be 'an encroachment on the powers of the president of the United States'.
Republican Tom Cole questioned whether America's intelligence operations were benefiting from the killings.
Drone strikes were carried out after U.S. intelligence concluded that al-Awlaki was senior operational leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula plotting attacks on the U.S., including the failed Christmas Day bombing of an airplane landing in Detroit in 2009, the report added.