The heart of the story is that the NSA is using electronic surveillance to decide whom to kill and not using human intelligence. And that electronic surveillance is unreliable. Unfortunately, it appears that often that information is not verified by human intelligence. So what they're doing is basing killing on SIM cards and phones.
NLG past president Marjorie Cohn recently participated in a panel on the illegality of drones and targeted killing off the battlefield at the conference, "Drones around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance," in Washington, D.C. Nearly 400 people from around the world came together to gather information, protest, and develop strategies to end targeted killing by combat drones. The Summit was sponsored by CODEPINK, The Nation Magazine, Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Georgetown Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
The National Lawyers Guild writes to express its opposition to the nomination of John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency. As President Obama’s current counter-terrorism adviser, Brennan bears responsibility for the administration’s drone program, which is killing civilians and sowing anti-American sentiment throughout the world. Brennan also stands accused of having detailed, contemporaneous knowledge of the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on captured terrorism suspects during the Bush administration. The impact and legality of the drone program and the extent of Brennan’s involvement in the Bush torture program should be central questions at his Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing.