President Trump’s pick to be the CIA’s top lawyer would not categorically state that the deliberate attacking of “terrorists’ families” is illegal.
Agency General Counsel-nominee Courtney Elwood said that the practice “would implicate a variety of laws.” She also noted that it would target “persons who are not otherwise lawful targets under existing law.” But Elwood did not overtly state that the practice violates federal and international law, when asked by Democratic Senators.
“If confirmed, I will work to ensure that all activities of the CIA fully and faithfully comply with the Constitution and US law,” Elwood concluded, in written testimony. Collective punishment is forbidden by the Geneva Convention of 1949, which the US signed.
The inquiring lawmakers, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M), specifically cited President Trump’s campaign promise “to take out their families.”
“Do you agree that this would be a violation of US and international law?” they asked.