Obama's drone war has warranted outcry from day one, and that outcry has only gotten louder as the President has tried to explain and defend the program over the last year. It was only a couple weeks ago that the U.S. released a report stating that at most drone strikes over the last six years have resulted in 116 civilian casualties. It’s a ridiculously small number, as some groups estimate it is honestly closer to 1,000 innocent deaths. But the drone program had an even bigger unveiling this week thanks to lawsuits filed by the ACLU. The White House was forced to release the all-important Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) that Obama uses to direct the expansion of the global drone war his Administration is waging. After stalling to release the PPG for three years, Obama's critics now have even more ammunition to rail against the lawfulness of this covert warfare since there are some loopholes in the guidance and the standards the guidance lays out doesn't always reconcile with what eye witnesses report on the ground. By way of awful example, surely a drone strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital doesn't meet the guidance but that didn't stop it from happening. The drone war will be a major part of President Obama's legacy, but - as the ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffar gingerly reminded us - the new transparency over the drone program is "a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president." And that should make us all shudder.

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