CIA director nominee defends drone attacks

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 06:49 hrs

London: President Barack Obama's nominee for CIA director, John Brennan has defended the US drone-strikes programme at a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.

Brennan said the US only took such action as a last resort and was careful to prevent civilian deaths.

The session comes after lawmakers received secret memos on the rationale for drone strikes on Americans working with al-Qaeda abroad, the BBC reports.

Brennan said that some Americans believe that strikes are used to punish for past transgressions.

He said that 'nothing could be further from the truth,' adding that 'we only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat'.

According to the report, the US has ordered about 350 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, according to data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New American Foundation, with the large majority occurring during the Obama administration.

Brennan's hearing comes a day after the Department of Justice agreed to send Congress documents laying out the legal rationale for targeting and killing US citizens who are suspected of working with terror groups, the report added.

More from Sify: