Reuters reports there is a ‘secretive’ group of government officials who have the power to place Americans on a capture or kill list and provide their decisions to the president.
The group makes their decisions in secret and provides no records of their rulings. There is no law providing for its operation and there are no rules governing its operation.
This is the panel that ordered the drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki September 30 in Yemen.
The legality of the strike was fiercely questioned following al-Awlaki’s death with details emerging Tuesday on how the White House targeted the New Mexico born cleric.
Responding to reporters, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger of the House Intelligence Committee said the group “[goes] through the National Security Council, then it eventually goes to the president but the National Security Council does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law.”
Reuters followed this statement up with inquires to other lawyers and was told the process is much less transparent than Ruppersberger maintained.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.