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Sunday, February 17, 2013

CIA’s covert drone program may shift further to Pentagon

CIA’s covert drone program may shift further to Pentagon
By Ken Dilanian
Tribune Washington Bureau
Published: February 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — Facing growing pressure to lift the secrecy around targeted killings overseas, the Obama administration is considering shifting more of the CIA’s covert drone program to the Pentagon, which operates under legal guidelines that could allow more public disclosure in some cases.

John Brennan, whom President Barack Obama has nominated to run the CIA, favors moving most drone killing operations to the military, current and former U.S. officials say. As White House counterterrorism adviser for the last four years, Brennan has overseen the steady increase in targeted killings of suspected militants and al-Qaida operatives.

In written comments released Friday by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is considering his nomination, Brennan said coordination has improved between the CIA and Pentagon. If confirmed, he vowed to work closely with Defense officials “to ensure there is no unnecessary redundancy in ... capabilities and missions.”

The proposed shift follows Obama’s vow in his State of the Union speech Tuesday to be “even more transparent” about the “targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists.”
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