Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

CIA Lawyer: How I Issued Drone ‘Death Warrants’

By Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room

You can expect to see at least two people inside the secret bunkers in Virginia where the CIA pilots its lethal drones over Pakistan. One controls the distant drone, his hand on a joystick, ready to fire off a missile at a target below.

Another is a CIA lawyer, watching to ensure that the operator is within his rights to attack his target. Call it a “punctilious” method to avoid civilian casualties and legal hot water, as one of those lawyers recently did — or call it the bureaucratization of a shadow war.

Tara Mckelvey gets a very rare peek inside the processes that go into the drone strikes, an undeclared air war that peaked last year at 118 missile firings, up from 33 in 2008. Her conclusion, published today in Newsweek, is that the operations ordering them are “multilayered and methodical, run by a corps of civil servants who carry out their duties in a professional manner.

But even the CIA’s former top lawyer, John Rizzo, is blunt about his involvement in what he calls “murder.”

Read the entire story here

February 14, 2011 - Posted by | CIA, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Pakistan | , , , , ,

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