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Common Dreams

Obama’s Assassination Drone Manual Excludes Pakistan

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Common Dreams staff

John Brennan, nominated by President Obama to be the next head of the CIA, has agreed to exempt CIA drone attacks in Pakistan from a new set of rules that attempts to justify and codify the use of drones to assassinate 'terrorists' around the world, including US citizens.

The classified manual, called a counterterrorism “playbook,” sets out new rules with regard to US targeted killings, but it incorporates an exemption that would allow the CIA to continue bombing suspected militants in Pakistan for “less than two years but more than one,” the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

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[...] The adoption of a formal guide to targeted killing marks a significant — and to some uncomfortable — milestone: the institutionalization of a practice that would have seemed anathema to many before the Sept. 11 , 2001, terrorist attacks.

Among the subjects covered in the playbook are the process for adding names to kill lists, the legal principles that govern when U.S. citizens can be targeted overseas and the sequence of approvals required when the CIA or U.S. military conducts drone strikes outside war zones.

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