NY Times: Obama Controls Secret al-Qaida ‘Kill List’

Posted May 29th, 2012 at 8:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The New York Times reported Tuesday that President Barack Obama has a “kill list” of al-Qaida suspects who can be targeted for death by unmanned drone aircraft.

The newspaper reported that the president personally oversees the list along with a top-secret process for attacking the suspected terrorists.

The Times says the process regards all men of military age in a strike zone as militants, unless intelligence proves otherwise.

It reports that Mr. Obama approves every drone strike in Yemen and Somalia, and especially risky strikes in Pakistan.

The report says some administration officials have reservations about the “kill list,” as well as the Obama administration's method for counting combatant and civilian casualties.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the president's first priority is protecting the United States and the American people. That is why Carney says Mr. Obama has pursued what he calls a very direct fight against al-Qaida.

Carney also said the United States has tools that make precision targeting possible and make it easier to avoid civilian casualties. The spokesman said the manner in which Mr. Obama has pursued al-Qaida is both lawful and consistent with American values.