Thanks, radioactivegavin, for pointing out this March 27 Raw Story article further detailing the U.S. State Department's current legal position on this classified, secretive program of killing civilians while out hunting "high profile targets."
Responding to lawsuit, US justifies Predator drone program as ’self defense’
Lawyers at ACLU would like to know more.
excerpt ... [We're encouraged that Koh has articulated the legal rationale for the program," said Jonathan Manes, a legal fellow at the ACLU. But he added that he hoped the administration would provide a more detailed account of its legal justification.
"The public has a right to know whether the targeted killings being carried out in its name are consistent with international law and with the country's interests and values," said Jonathan Manes, a legal fellow with the ACLU National Security Project, in a media advisory released after the group's lawsuit was filed. "The Obama administration should disclose basic information about the program, including its legal basis and limits, and the civilian casualty toll thus far."
The group added: "The CIA and the military have used unmanned drones to target and kill individuals not only in Afghanistan and Iraq but also in Pakistan and, in at least one case in 2002, Yemen. The technology allows U.S. personnel to observe targeted individuals in real time and launch missiles intended to kill them from control centers located thousands of miles away. Recent reports, including public statements from the director of national intelligence, indicate that U.S. citizens have been placed on the list of targets who can be hunted and killed with drones."]