The following is an excerpt from CHARLIE SAVAGE | August 6, 2016 | Nytimes.com |
WASHINGTON — The Obama ad
ministration has disclosed its rules and procedures for targeting individuals for killing outside conventional war zones — including with drones — further lifting the secrecy surrounding one of its most disputed tactics for fighting terrorism.
The newly declassified document shows that if the top lawyers and leaders of the departments and agencies on the National Security Council agree that a proposed strike would be lawful and appropriate, the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency can proceed.
If they disagree, or if the person to be targeted is an American citizen, the matter must go to the president for a decision.
President Obama issued the 18-page set of rules, sometimes called the drone strike “playbook” but formally known as the Presidential Policy Guidance, in May 2013. It was classified, although the administration publicly said it tightened standards for strikes — including requirements that targets must pose a threat to Americans and the “near certainty” that there would be no civilian deaths.
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