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23 March 2009

Drone War's Rules: Shoot First, Ask Permission Later

from Danger Room by Noah Shachtman

The U.S. isn't just launching killer drone attacks on targets in Pakistan, from bases on Pakistani soil. It's doing so without the individual authorization of the Pakistani government.

Before August, the CIA had to ask for Islamabad's OK before launching any attack. The approvals often took "a day or more, sometimes causing the agency to lose track of the target," the L.A. Times reports. But when Pakistani president and Bush administration ally Pervez Musharraf was forced to resign in August, Bush quickly approved "new rules: Rather than requiring Pakistan's permission to order a Predator strike, the agency was allowed to shoot first."

"We had the data all along," a former CIA official tells the paper. "Finally we took off the gloves."

[No Marquess of Queensberry rules in the Pak. - Sarge]

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