On Amnesty International USA's Human Rights Now blog, Zeke Johnson, director of AIUSA's Security with Human Rights Campaign, proposes 12 good questions that the senators should ask Brennan today.
1. What has been your role in developing, authorizing, implementing or over-seeing the U.S. government’s policy on the use of lethal force, including with drones, and in selecting names for the “kill list” and carrying out drone strikes?Somehow I suspect that today's grilling will fall short.
2. What will you do to ensure much greater transparency in relation to the use of lethal force, including with drones and particularly by the CIA, in a way that allows for a proper assessment of the lawfulness of particular attacks, and accountability for any attacks that are unlawful?
3. In your roles to date, what measures have you taken, or ensured the U.S. government has taken, to ensure that, in specific cases, the USA’s use of lethal force, including with drones, has been in compliance with international law?
5. In light of recent media reports, could you confirm that you had no decision-making role in developing, authorizing, ordering, implementing or over-seeing the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding? Could you provide detail of your contemporaneous criticisms of these techniques under the Bush administration?
6. Do you consider waterboarding and other so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” to amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment?
11. Do you accept that international human rights law applies to all U.S. counterterrorism operations, including those outside U.S. territory?
12. If confirmed as Director of the CIA, what would you do to help ensure that the U.S. government meets its obligations under international law to ensure accountability—including investigation, prosecutions where there is sufficient evidence and remedy for victims—for torture, enforced disappearance and other crimes under international law, including those already committed in relation to the USA’s secret detention and rendition programs?