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Durbin, Leahy to chair hearings on drone strikes

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WASHINGTON--There is enormous interest in the use of drones on both sides of the aisle and next month Sen. Dick Durbin (D-lll.) will chair a Senate Judiciary Committee
hearing titled "Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing."

On March 16, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will chair hearing on the domestic use of drones titled "The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations."

Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor for a 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's CIA director nomination to be CIA director and his concerns over the Obama administration targeted drone strikes.

The April 16 Durbin hearing "will focus on the constitutional and statutory authority for targeted killings; the scope of the battlefield and who can be targeted as a combatant; and establishing a transparent legal framework for the use of drones."

"Targeted killing raises important legal and policy questions that require a public debate," Durbin said in a statement. "President Obama has made it clear he wants to work with Congress to establish 'a legal architecture' for drone strikes to prevent abuses. My subcommittee will begin this important constitutional debate when we meet next month."

below, release from Durbin....

DURBIN TO CHAIR HEARING ON DRONE STRIKES AND TARGETED KILLINGS NEXT MONTH

Will be One of Two Judiciary Committee Hearings on Use of Drones

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, announced today that he would chair a hearing on the use of drones and targeted killings. The hearing, entitled "Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing," will focus on the constitutional and statutory authority for targeted killings; the scope of the battlefield and who can be targeted as a combatant; and establishing a transparent legal framework for the use of drones. The hearing will be held on April 16, 2013.

"Targeted killing raises important legal and policy questions that require a public debate," Durbin said. "President Obama has made it clear he wants to work with Congress to establish 'a legal architecture' for drone strikes to prevent abuses. My subcommittee will begin this important constitutional debate when we meet next month."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy also announced a hearing on the domestic use of drones next Wednesday, March 20th. That hearing, titled "The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations," will focus on privacy concerns surrounding the domestic use of drones. That hearing will be chaired by Leahy, who announced in January that the Committee would look in to this issue this year.

"Drones have the potential to assist law enforcement and other first responders, but they could also pose a significant threat to the privacy and civil liberties of millions of Americans. This is another example of a fast-changing policy area on which we need to focus to make sure that modern technology is not used to erode Americans' right to privacy," Leahy said. "I look forward to hearing testimony on this issue next week."

Information on both hearings, including witness lists, will be available on the Committee's website soon.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 13, 2013 12:39 PM.

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