US President Donald Trump has revoked a policy that required the Central Intelligence Agency to account for civilian deaths from drone strikes so ultimately it could give the CIA greater latitude to conduct strikes as Mr Trump increasingly relies on the spy agency, rather than the military, for lethal drone operations.
Mr Trump’s move though applied only to strikes by non-defence department agencies – the CIA, in effect. It did not overturn requirements set by Congress for the Pentagon to account for civilian casualties in its operations. Activists say the move could make the CIA even less accountable than in the past.
“The Trump Administration’s action is an unnecessary and dangerous step backwards on transparency and accountability for the use of lethal force, and the civilian casualties they cause,” said Rita Siemion of Human Rights First.
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20 July, 2019