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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 07 March 2013

Sen. Ron Wyden has been at the forefront of efforts to get information on the Obama administration's controversial drone program. A member of the Senate select Committee on Intelligence, Wyden made seven requests in two years, before the administration finally shared information about the program with Congress.

On Wednesday, Sen. Wyden appeared on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show to explain why he joined Sen. Rand Paul in filibustering the confirmation vote for CIA director nominee John Brennan. Paul and his allies –some libertarian, others like Wyden from the left  –talked for 13 hours to delay Brennan's confirmation vote.

Brennan was one of the main architects of the drone program, which has been accused of killing civilians as well as targeted terror suspects in Afghanistan. Rand's main concern is that drones not be used against American citizens who have had no opportunity to defend themselves in court. Wyden has concerns about the drone program itself, the way it has changed modern warfare and the secrecy that has prevented even members of Congress from learning how it operates.  

"I think the American people certainly know more about the fundamental question, which is we have to strike a better balance between protecting our security and protecting our liberty," Wyden says.

"I think there does need to be more information made available, and I think it can be done consistent with national security about drones. And I am going to make a concerted effort to declassify more of that information in the days ahead.

"It's time to bring the public into this."


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