No Secret Court for Military Drones

droneJAY SEKULOW, ACLJ

It’s an issue that’s getting a lot of attention – especially since it was discussed last week at a confirmation hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan. There’s debate over the use of remote-controlled drones to attack those who are threats to America.

Many are asking – does the President, who serves as Commander-in-Chief, have the authority to order drone attacks to protect our national security?

I do believe that the President must have this authority to act. However, it’s difficult to ignore something else – President Obama’s double standard. This is a President and an Administration that refused to use the phrase “war on terror” for years – at a time when this nation was facing terrorists who were trying to strike at our freedoms here at home and abroad. Now, with the release of the Justice Department’s memo on the use of unmanned drones, it’s a different story – the Obama Administration now uses the “war on terror” as legal justification for the use of drones.

At the same time, some members of Congress and others want to interject the court system into the use of drones. There’s a growing call for the creation of a secret court along the lines of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) – which reviews requests for wiretaps against suspected foreign agents.

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, the courts have no business running a war – and that includes approving and rejecting the use of military drones.

The question about oversight and the use of a secret court when it comes to unmanned drones is likely to continue. After all, during his confirmation hearing, the CIA nominee – John Brennan – said he thinks this troubling concept is “worthy of discussion.”

Here’s the bottom line: remote-controlled drones are vital in protecting our national security and targeting terrorists. The Commander-in-Chief must have the ability to utilize this important resource. And, while there needs to be oversight, this should not be the role of a secret court.


Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, and a respected broadcaster. Jay Sekulow is an attorney with a passion for protecting religious liberty – freedom – democracy.


Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.