I am referring to the United States under former Pres. George W. Bush and current Pres. Barack Obama. I never thought I would be reading that Pres. Obama had a "kill list" nor did I think authorizing the murder of an American citizen without any trial could be legal. What I found most disturbing was this item from the LA Times (h/t emptywheel):
The expanded authority, approved two years ago by the Bush administration and continued by President Obama, permits the agency to rely on what officials describe as "pattern of life" analysis, using evidence collected by surveillance cameras on the unmanned aircraft and from other sources about individuals and locations.In the same LAT article, we find this claim:
U.S. officials say the strikes have caused fewer than 30 civilian casualties since the drone program was expanded in Pakistan, a claim that is impossible to verify since the remote and lawless tribal belt is usually off-limits to Western reporters.How can US officials possibly know this?