Dec 14, 2012
House Republicans have President Barack Obama’s back—at least when it comes to targeted killing.
On Thursday, the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee voted to kill a resolution compelling the Obama administration to tell Congress why it believes its targeted killing program is legal. In a twist, Republicans like Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) argued that the resolution was an unnecessary and drastic step, while Democrats accused the administration of stonewalling. (When the House Judiciary Committee’s Senate counterpart discussed a similar resolution months ago, the party roles were actually reversed.)
“With respect to its targeted killing program, the administration has not yet demonstrated the sort of obstruction that would warrant this extraordinary measure,” said Smith, who pointed toAttorney General Eric Holder’s speech summarizing the administration’s legal views on targeted killing. “There is no evidence that the administration has failed in this responsibility to disclose details of the targeted killing program.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) disagreed. “The process has been painfully slow, and the response that we have received to date has been inadequate,” Nadler said. “The power to wage war, and to order the killing of any person, much less an American citizen, is perhaps the most awesome power the president has.”
Video of the House Judiciary Committee hearing on drone strikes: