Opinion: McCain is ‘Absolutely Right’ on Drones

Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:02pm

John Firestone agrees with the Senator: “We don’t get to say this very often on The Times editorial page, but Senator John McCain was absolutely right last week to decry a secret deal in the 2014 spending bill. He pointed out that the bill contained a classified section that prohibited the Pentagon from taking over the C.I.A.’s role in carrying out drone strikes, as President Obama has proposed.”

“What’s really at issue in this dispute isn’t military competence; it’s the competing goals of secrecy and accountability.”

“As long as the drone strikes are never discussed outside the sealed hearing room of the Intelligence Committee, the country doesn’t have to be accountable for the success or failure of the program, and neither do the lawmakers who authorize it.”

“There’s a strong faction on Capitol Hill that prefers keeping the public in the dark about the country’s endless secret war against terrorists, and this time it won.”

Crossposted at Wonk Wire.