Burgess Introduces Legislation to Limit CIA's Authority to Carry Out Drone Strikes, Transfers Authority to DOD
February 14, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) this week introduced legislation that would eliminate the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) use of drones abroad and transfer that authority solely to the Department of Defense (DOD).
The 2014 Omnibus, which was recently signed into law, includes a classified section that limits the transfer of authority to carry out drone strikes from the CIA to the Pentagon, which effectively allows the CIA to continue to carry out these unmanned aircraft strikes abroad and limits DOD’s involvement.
This legislation, H.R. 4036, would cease the CIA’s use of drones and instead allow DOD to carry them out.
“The role of the CIA has always been to gather intelligence which the DOD and the armed forces may use to carry out military action, but the provision in the Omnibus that gives CIA more authority to carry out drone strikes dangerously blurs the lines of jurisdiction between the two,” Burgess said. “The CIA historically has never been involved in strategic defense work other than gathering information that is of use to our highest-ranking military officials, who are trained specifically to do this work. By giving our intelligence community exclusive authority to do what should be the work of DOD, it compromises CIA’s ability to do its core intelligence-gathering work, and frankly, it oversteps its mission statement by a longshot.
“That’s why it’s critically important to pass this bill so that authority to carry out drone strikes is exclusively in the hands of DOD where it belongs,” Burgess said.
Burgess’ legislation has been referred to the House Committees on Intelligence and Armed Services.