Human-rights advocates were floored on Monday night when NBC News published the details of an alarming Justice Department memo detailing the protocol for sending drones after United States citizens. It's not as if they hadn't suspected that the Obama administration's top-secret drone attack protocol contained some unsavory details. They just didn't expect them to be so frightfully broad. The scoop by Michael Isikoff is actually startling not for the details but rather for the lack of details. It's very vague about a decision-making process that puts American lives on the line. Put simply, the government believes that a lethal drone attack against an American citizen is justified if the targets are a) "senior operational leaders" of al Qaeda or b) "an associated force."
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