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FROM THIS EPISODE

With almost no public discussion, President Obama has expanded the use of targeted killings. It's a cheap way to get rid of terrorist leaders, but mistakes and civilian casualties can be costly in more ways than one. We look at how the policy has developed and how it could change the role of the Central Intelligence Agency. Also, a UN envoy claims that the Syrian Government has agreed to a temporary cease-fire, another Republican Senate candidate says pregnancy caused by rape is not justification for legal abortion. Will that impact the presidential campaign?

Banner image: A view of a house in what security official said was destroyed by a US drone in Yemen's eastern province of Hadramout September 4, 2012.  Photo by Reuters/Stringer

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg
Christian Bordal
Evan George

Making News UN Envoy Claims Syrian Government Agrees to Temporary Cease Fire 7 MIN, 18 SEC

The UN envoy to Syria says Syrian President al-Assad has agreed to a holiday cease fire, along with most of the opposition factions. But it's not clear when it might begin or how long it might continue. Jon Leyne, Middle East Correspondent for the BBC, joins us from Cairo.

Guests:
Jon Leyne, BBC

Main Topic Targeted Killings, Drones and the Role of the CIA 33 MIN, 16 SEC

Targeted killing of terrorist leaders was controversial when President Bush adopted the practice in the aftermath of September 11. Barack Obama has widely expanded the practice, using unmanned drones. Rather than through acts of Congress, much less the courts, it's been driven by drone technology, and the President alone decides who lives or who dies. The CIA carries out his decisions, and it wants more drones. Mitt Romney endorsed targeted killing in Monday's debate on foreign policy. Is the intelligence agency becoming an unmanned air force? The kill-list has grown way beyond al Qaeda leaders who were the original targets.  Will drone technology encourage engagement in permanent war?

Guests:
Greg Miller, Washington Post (@gregpmiller)
Naureen Shah, Columbia Law School (@naureenshah)
Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations (@MaxBoot)

Invisible Armies

Max Boot

Reporter's Notebook Another Rape Comment Has Romney Campaign Running 10 MIN, 3 SEC

In Indiana, three candidates for the US Senate are all opposed to abortion. In a debate last night, Republican Richard Mourdock said his only exception is the life of the mother.  He explicitly ruled out cases of rape. "I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." The Obama campaign has seized on the comment as an issue against Mitt Romney, who in a TV commercial Monday, endorsed Mourdock despite disagreeing with his stance on rape.

Guests:
Jonathan Weisman, New York Times (@jonathanweisman)
Carrie Ritchie, Indianapolis Star (@CarrieRitchie)

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