Obama ‘drone-warfare rulebook’ condemned by human rights groups

President Barack Obama’s administration is in the process of drawing up a formal rulebook that will set out the circumstances in which targeted assassination by unmanned drones is justified, according to reports.

The New York Times, citing two unnamed sources, said explicit guidelines were being drawn up amid disagreement between the CIA and the departments of defense, justice and state over when lethal action is acceptable.

Human-rights groups and peace groups opposed to the CIA-operated targeted-killing programme, which remains officially classified, said the administration had already rejected international law in pursuing its drone operations.

“To say they are rewriting the rulebook implies that there isn’t already a rulebook” said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Center for Democracy. “But what they are already doing is rejecting a rulebook – of international law – that has been in place since [the second world war].”

He said the news was “frustrating”, because it relied on “self-serving sources”. The New York Times piece was written by one of the journalists who first exposed the existence of a White House “kill list”, in May.

The ACLU is currently involved in a legal battle with the US government over the legal memo underlying the controversial targeted killing programme, the basis for drone strikes that have killed American citizens and the process by which individuals are placed on the kill list.

Read more at The Guardian

Comments

Polititainment

Boehner traps Behar in headlock

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and libera comedian and talk show host Joy Behar took an unusual selfie over the weekend when the two crossed paths at a restaurant in the Hamptons over the weekend.

Jenner is new face of Rock the Vote
Calling her  “a powerhouse figure among millennials,” Rock the Vote enlisted the help of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star and fashion model Kendall Jenner for National Voter Registration Day. “I’m here in Europe for fashion week, but back in the U.S. it is National Voter Registration Day and I’m using Rock the Vote’s new mobile […]
Stewart talks security at '1600 Jump St'
Jon Stewart brought up the two recent White House security breaches on “The Daily Show” Monday night, seeming both amused and baffled by the entire situation. “Wow! Good thing we don’t treat White House intruders the way we do Cuban refugees because then, when that guy reached the house, put his foot on the ground, […]
Gordon-Levitt eyes Snowden role
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is expected to play Edward Snowden in an Oliver Stone-directed movie about Snowden’s life, Variety reports. “The Snowden Files” would be based on the book about the NSA leaks written by Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, which is considered the closest thing to a documented account of the events. Stone acquired the rights to […]
'Madam Secretary' wants an ideal D.C.
CBS’s new show “Madam Secretary” may be inspired by some of the most polarizing and entrenched political figures in Washington D.C., but the showrunners and cast say they want to portray a less polarizing and negative D.C. on screen. POLITICO’s Playbook Lunch on Friday featured show creator Barbara Hall, executive producers Morgan Freeman and Lori […]

White House

Republicans face stakes of biblical proportions on immigration, Biden says

Vice-President Joe Biden told a crowd celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month that the GOP's direction on immigration reform is of biblical proportions.

Lois Lerner speaks: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

Former IRS official Lois Lerner has opened up to the public in a lengthy interview with POLITICO.

Michelle Obama says Americans ‘take for granted’ Obama’s presidency
First Lady Michelle Obama proudly defended her husband during a speech at the opening reception of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum, telling the audience that people take her husband “for granted.” “Just think about how different our country looks to children growing up today. Think about how our kids take for granted that a […]
Security breaches prompt more White House security
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service tightened security outside the White House after an embarrassing breach in which a man with a knife scaled a fence, ran across the lawn and made it all the way inside before agents stopped him. Increased surveillance and more officer patrols are among the measures that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered. […]
He gaffes again! Biden praises disgraced former Senator Bob Packwood

Ranking Joe Biden gaffes is like running down the deck of the Titanic -- in the end it's just a race to the bottom and no one ever wins. And yet the vice president continues to provide more candidates for his greatest hits.

Congress

Lawmakers take in $608 per hour for time in D.C.
THE HILL – Congress will be in session for only eight days during a 102-day span between Aug. 1 and Nov. 12, when lawmakers are set to return for a lame-duck session after the elections. Because the annual salary for members of the House is $174,000, their hourly wage for those eight days amounts to $608 […]
House GOP replaces firm handling Obama suit
THE HILL — House Republicans said they’ve hired new counsel to represent them in their lawsuit against President Obama after their previous lawyer backed out of the case over “political pressure.” They inked a contract on Friday with William A. Burck of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart. The New York Times reported that the GOP’s previous attorney, David Rivkin of […]
Convicted felon running for Congress

Edwin W. Edwards recently spent nine years in prison after being convicted for extorting millions of dollars in exchange for riverboat gambling licenses, and now he's running for office.

Rand Paul: Millennials 'aren't as wedded to party'
Sen. Rand Paul (R – Ky.) seems to have the majority of millennials figured out. The presidential hopeful spoke with The Federalist this week about his foreign policy views and the shift toward libertarian views among millennials. “I think the libertarian influence, the libertarian-ish Republican, the libertarian conservatives in many ways is great for the […]
Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
POLITICO – Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most. Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two […]