U.S. Govt Panel Determines Who is Put on the “Kill List”

by Julian Ku

The leaks are already starting about the U.S. government’s process for determining who to target for drone strikes.  Here is the latest.

(Reuters) – American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

This sounds like quite a subcommittee. Interestingly, the article hints that President Obama is informed, but does not necessarily approve who gets put on the “kill list.” But apparently, there is a legal review.

The process involves “going through the National Security Council, then it eventually goes to the president, but the National Security Council does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law,” Ruppersberger said.

This kind of leaking is inevitable, and it is a further argument in favor of the Administration getting out there now with as many details about the program as they can release.  Just leak the whole thing, already!

http://opiniojuris.org/2011/10/07/u-s-govt-panel-determines-who-is-put-on-the-kill-list/

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