ACLU Sues for Trump Administration Killing Rules

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ACLU Sues for Trump Administration Killing Rules

by Stephen Lendman ( – 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.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.