Two senators will hold hearings about the drone strikes ordered by the White House with a plan to put authority for such strikes in the hands of a federal court.
The top Democrats on the Senate intelligence and judiciary panels are planning hearings to consider establishing new authorities for federal courts to oversee the use of armed drone strikes against suspected terror targets worldwide.
That authority would likely be patterned after the intelligence oversight responsibilities under the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chairwoman, told reporters.
FISA established a special federal court to approve surveillance on suspected foreign spies working inside the United States.
Senate Judiciary chairman Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have also indicated "their concern and interest" in introducing some sort of FISA-like legal check on the administration's authority to execute armed drone strikes, the California Democrat said. ...The Hill
Actually, Congress has kept its distance from responsibility for/oversight of drones strikes, as Time's Michael Crowley wrote the other day in a piece about the Brennan hearings.
Congress has generally played a hands-off role on counter-terrorism policy under Barack Obama. But several members of the Intelligence Committee seemed frustrated with various aspects of the ongoing campaign against al Qaeda. ...
... In one of the hearing’s most interesting exchanges, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine drew back further, asking Brennan whether some basic assumptions about the fight against al Qaeda should be challenged. Noting that the terror group continues to spread, Collins asked, “If the cancer of al Qaeda is metastasizing, do we need a new treatment?” Collins noted that even an experienced military official like former General Stanley McChrystal have begun wondering aloud whether America has become too reliant on drones, at the expense of breeding resentment and backlash within the Muslim world. ...Time
Look into whatever issue you like, short of naming post offices, and Congress appears to have become a lazy, disorganized, irresponsible group thanks to its Republican leadership. And when Republicans don't have actual leadership, they use the filibuster -- or devices like closed-door hearings -- to stop responsible legislation in its tracks.