Threaded through many of these issues is question of whether the CIA, rather than the military, should be carrying out acts of war. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, there was some reason to rely on the agency’s paramilitary activities. But with the expansion of the military’s special operations, the justification for such CIA activity, which feeds the secrecy problem, is no longer apparent. Mr. Brennan should be asked why he should not refocus the agency on intelligence collection and leave military operations to the generals.
There’s another question I have about the use of drones. If their use against targeted individuals in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, or Mali is necessary for national security, would their use against those same individuals within the borders of the United States be equally necessary? Would the use of armed drones by those who are being targeted by them against our president be legitimate?
I’d actually like to see some quantifiable measurement of national security but anything other than tiger repellent appears to be beyond the state of the art.