Trump Just Expanded CIA’s License to Kill

By Ben Sullivan and cross-posted from Vice Motherboard

Last November, Motherboard asked how President Trump would handle the legacy of his predecessor’s drone program. Much was unclear, but four months later, we have our answer: America’s remote killing strategy is only intensifying.

Trump has given unprecedented power to the CIA to expand its killing program and launch drone strikes against targets, drone strikes that have no legal obligation for public disclosure and do not require the the approval of the Pentagon.

Dan Gettinger, co-director at the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, told Motherboard in an email that Trump’s decision repeals a central restriction placed on the targeted killing program by the Obama administration.

In a distinct change to Obama’s policies, which allowed the CIA to hunt and surveil suspected terror targets but required the permission of the military to physically launch a missile strike, The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump has given the CIA authority to pull the trigger on its own strikes

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