Trump Administration Plans to Loosen Targeted Killing Rules

September 22, 2017 11:15 am

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NEW YORK — The Trump administration is considering a proposal to roll back restrictions on killing operations like commando raids and drone strikes, according to a report in The New York Times.

Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, had this reaction:

“These proposed changes will result in more unlawful killings outside war zones, alienate allies, and make the world less safe.

“The Obama rules sought to normalize what the rest of the world recognizes as an aberration. They are a made-up legal and bureaucratic infrastructure to justify killings far from any battlefield and without any due process.

“It is little comfort that the ‘near certainty’ standard against civilian deaths would be maintained when we do not know how the administration is defining who is a civilian. The number of civilians killed by the Trump administration in and outside war zones is already at record highs, and these proposed changes would only cause greater harm.”

The rules that would be changed are part the Presidential Policy Guidance, which was released in August 2016 in response to a court order in an ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. An analysis of the PPG is here.

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