To hear the Obama administration tell it, through anonymous leaks to the press of course, the United States' "targeted killing" program will soon be bound by clear and "more stringent" rules before a drone strike gets the green light. This counterterrorism "playbook," so says the administration, will institutionalize the process for the remote-controlled killing program and keep it within the rule of law.
But that isn't true for three reasons, Chris Anders, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, explained to PBS's NewsHour on Wednesday night. First, secret rules are inconsistent with the rule of law, which is predicated on everyone knowing the rules. Second, the Obama administration's playbook rules will not apply to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan for at least a year if not more, according to the Post. Third, and most importantly, the rules undergirding the program, secret or not, violate the Constitution and international law.