As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein bears more responsibility than anyone in America for ensuring that Congress conducts vigilant oversight of President Obama's targeted killing program. Last week, during remarks at the beginning of John Brennan's confirmation hearings, the California Democrat spoke about her desire for more transparency from the executive branch, and then made a striking claim about the number of civilians the U.S. is killing:
I've been calling for increased transparency on the use of targeted force for over a year, including the circumstances in which such force is directed against U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike. I've also been attempting to speak publicly about the very low number of civilian casualties that result from such strikes. I've been limited in my ability to do so. But for the past several years, this committee has done significant oversight of the government's conduct of targeted strikes, and the figures we have obtained from the executive branch, which we have done our utmost to verify, confirm that the number of civilian casualties that have resulted from such strikes each year has typically been in the single digits.