October 23, 2012
The Washington Post

U.S. Intends to Keep Adding Names to Kill Lists

by Greg Miller

Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the "disposition matrix."

The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the "disposition" of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.

Although the matrix is a work in progress, the effort to create it reflects a reality setting in among the nation's counterterrorism ranks: The United States' conventional wars are winding down, but the government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years. . . .

The United States now operates multiple drone programs, including acknowledged U.S. military patrols over conflict zones in Afghanistan and Libya, and classified CIA surveillance flights over Iran.

Strikes against al-Qaeda, however, are carried out under secret lethal programs involving the CIA and JSOC. The matrix was developed by the NCTC, under former director Michael Leiter, to augment those organizations' separate but overlapping kill lists, officials said.

The result is a single, continually evolving database in which biographies, locations, known associates and affiliated organizations are all catalogued. So are strategies for taking targets down, including extradition requests, capture operations and drone patrols. . . .


Realpolitik and Terrorism

Fred Branfman, "Mass Assassinations Lie at the Heart of America's Military Strategy in the Muslim World," AlterNet, August 24, 2010

"U.S. Rejects Demands To Vacate Pakistan Drone Base," The Wisdom Fund, June 30, 2011

"As the Drone Flies: War By 'Lethal Autonomy'," The Wisdom Fund, September 27, 2011

Glenn Greenwald, "Obama moves to make the War on Terror permanent: Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian euphemism - 'disposition matrix' - the administration institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim,", October 25, 2011

Owen Bowcott, "UN to investigate civilian deaths from US drone strikes,", October 25, 2011

William Pfaff, "Drone Warfare: An Illegal Tactic Sure to Perpetuate U.S.-Muslim War Indefinitely,", October 30, 2011

[As combatants, drone operators are targetable at any time.--Aroop Mukharji, "Drone Operators: Soldiers or Civilans?,", March 28, 2013]

Abigail Fielding-Smith, Crofton Black, Alice Ross and James Ball, "Revealed: Private firms at heart of US drone warfare,", July 30, 2015

[Chabelley Airfield allows U.S. drones to cover Yemen, southwest Saudi Arabia, a large swath of Somalia, and parts of Ethiopia and southern Egypt.--Nick Turse, "THE STEALTH EXPANSION OF A SECRET U.S. DRONE BASE IN AFRICA,", October 21, 2015]

Philip Giraldi, "Obama Legitimizes the Drone Wars,", June 3, 2016

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