Web Toolbar by Wibiya The inside story of how the White House botched its PR surrounding drones, infuriated Congress, and let Rand Paul become a liberal hero

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 The inside story of how the White House botched its PR surrounding drones, infuriated Congress, and let Rand Paul become a liberal hero

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AmiraTamara



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PostSubject: The inside story of how the White House botched its PR surrounding drones, infuriated Congress, and let Rand Paul become a liberal hero   Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:15 pm



You know it’s not a good day for the Obama administration when a paragon of the Tea Party right is roasting the president and liberal twitter feeds are lighting up in support. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this week when Kentucky Senator Rand Paul mounted his “talking filibuster” to block the confirmation of CIA nominee John Brennan. Paul kept up the parliamentary maneuver for 13 hours in an effort to extract answers from the administration about its covert drone program, and particularly the question of whether it is legal to target American citizens on U.S. soil.

It was a strange-bedfellows moment that harkened back to the Clinton era, when government-fearing elements of the GOP joined forces with the civil-libertarian left to assail over-zealous law-enforcement tactics. And while Brennan’s nomination was never really in jeopardy—he was confirmed yesterday by a comfortable margin—Paul succeeded in forcing Obama officials to publicly address a set of national security issues that has always made them feel distinctly uncomfortable.

How could the administration have allowed itself to get tangled up in an embarrassing controversy over deeply hypothetical questions like whether the military could fire a drone strike at an American citizen sitting in a cafe? One reason, of course, is the circus that confirmations have become—proxy battles for the permanent political conflict between Republicans and the White House. But perhaps the biggest reason has been the administration’s unwillingness to share information about its drone program, which has fed the perception among both Republicans and Democrats that it has an imperious, high-handed attitude toward Congress. And when officials have answered questions from Congress, the responses have often been so pettifogging and over-lawyered that they’ve done more harm than good.

The irony is that Obama and most of his top aides are personally in favor of more rather than less transparency. But in the end, they have repeatedly deferred to secrecy obsessed spooks and handwringing lawyers whose default position has been to keep things under wraps. “It’s clear that the president and the attorney general both want more transparency,” says Matthew Miller, a former senior Justice Department official. “But the bureaucracy has once again thrown sand in the gears and slowed that down.”

source @ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/09/obama-s-drone-debacle.html
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The inside story of how the White House botched its PR surrounding drones, infuriated Congress, and let Rand Paul become a liberal hero
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