Tuesday Morning and I’m still talking drones.
Jack Goldsmith flags a truly remarkable interview given by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) on Face the Nation.
Ignoring the fact that Rogers basically went on national TV and confirmed covert actions by the USG, perhaps the most remarkable statement was as follows:
Monthly, I have my committee go to the CIA to review them. I as chairman review every single air strike that we use in the war on terror, both from the civilian and the military side when it comes to terrorist strikes.
I’m still digesting the implications of what Rogers is stating here. If we take what he’s saying at face value, Rogers is stating that the House Intelligence Committee acts as a quasi-Star Chamber. Goldsmith also flags a much more vague statement made by Senator Feinstein in a similar vein, which suggests in fact oversight of the drone program has been more comprehensive than we’ve been told to date.
In some ways I’m actually more disturbed by these revelations because it seems to limit the scope of how much Congress is willing to put its foot down and formally incorporate oversight into the targeting process. Moreover, if this sort of review is actually true, why haven’t we heard about it to date from anyone? Administration officials who had sought to justify their actions have been curiously vague about the actual process of the drone program. Perhaps the interlocking layers and the extent of congressional abdication of responsibility might be showing here.
I’m not sure….but it’s…interesting.