ACLU Sues for Trump Administration Killing Rules
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Hawkish generals run Trump’s geopolitical agenda. He was co-opted to go along, aware only about what he’s told – likely not fully informed on the extent of America’s drone strikes and other killing policies.
Under Bush/Cheney, Obama and now Trump, America largely kills civilians in all its war theaters, few so-called “high-value” individuals by drones.
Unknown numbers have been mercilessly slaughtered by drone wars alone, including women and children.
The Trump administration escalated what his predecessors began, changing the rules of engagement, loosening them, permitting anything goes, suggested by an unrevealed document called “Principles, Standards, and Procedures” – replacing Obama administration policies.
On December 21, the ACLU filed an FOIA lawsuit, “demanding that the government release its new rules for drone strikes and other killings abroad.”
They make massacring civilians more likely, accountability never forthcoming like earlier, including in nations “outside of active hostilities” like Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere.
Trump administration changes were adopted in October. According to the ACLU, “(r)evisions in the new standards reportedly include lifting a requirement that a target must present a ‘continuing, imminent’ threat to the United States, and permit lethal strikes against a broader category of people, including those with no special skills or leadership roles.”
“The policy also eliminates the high-level vetting required for each individual strike, instead requiring only ‘higher-level approval’ of ‘country plans’ that will be reviewed annually.”
Fact: Obama’s rules of engagement permitted killing of civilians without admitting it.
He prioritized targeted killings. CIA director John Brennan headed his administration’s Murder, Inc. agenda, authorizing global killings, drone wars a favorite strategy in multiple theaters.
They’re instruments of state terror, operating round-the-clock, sanitizing killing on the cheap, drone warriors targeting faceless alleged enemies half a world away or nearby.
Rule of law principles and other disturbing issues weren’t considered. Secrecy and accountability were unaddressed.
Obama established a kill list. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) blasted what it called mocking due process and habeas rights, US citizens as vulnerable as foreign nationals.
America ignores rule of law principles, operating by its own lawless standards, broadened under Trump, escalating US state terror globally.
ACLU staff attorney correctly said “(t)he inevitable outcome of looser rules is that the Trump administration will kill more people in more places, and more civilians and their communities will bear the costs.”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”