McClatchy reports: The Obama administration does not intend to send a witness to testify at a Senate hearing next week on the legality of the U.S. targeted killing program, the White House said Wednesday.
The decision illustrates the limits of President Barack Obama’s pledge in his State of the Union speech on Feb. 12 to provide greater transparency into top-secret drone operations that have killed thousands of suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution subcommittee was to have held a hearing Tuesday on the legality of targeted killings, those who can be targeted and the creation of a “transparent legal framework for the use of drones.” The session, however, was postponed until April 23 to allow more time for the White House to agree to send a witness.
That effort, however, appeared to have fallen through.
“We do not currently plan to send a witness to this hearing and have remained in close contact with the committee about how we can best provide them the information they require,” Caitlin Hayden, a National Security Council spokeswoman, wrote in an email to McClatchy.
She added that the White House would continue working with lawmakers “to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and the world.”
Hayden declined to say why the administration doesn’t plan to provide a witness for the hearing. [Continue reading…]