US/National Security Council

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Group.png US/National Security Council   History Commons Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Seal Of The President Of The United States Of America.svg
HeadquartersEisenhower Executive Office Building
SubgroupsOperations Coordinating Board
Founder ofOffice of Policy Coordination

The National Security Council was established by the National Security Act of 1947 as part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It is a forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials.

Illegal Assassinations

After the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the existence of a secret National Security Council panel became known. This panel meets to agree the killing of anyone who has been termed a suspected terrorist.[1] No evidence need be presented and no public record of this decision or its execution need exist,[1] no laws govern criteria for killing such suspects, since the panel appears to be operating outside of US law.[1]

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who helped codify targeted killing criteria by creating the Disposition Matrix database, stated that "in order to ensure that our counterterrorism operations involving the use of lethal force are legal, ethical, and wise, President Obama has demanded that we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards and processes."[2]

On February 4, 2013, NBC published an allegedly leaked Department of Justice memo providing a summary of the rationale used to justify targeted killing of US citizens who are senior operational leaders of Al-Qa'ida or associated forces.[3]


  1. a b c "Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'". Reuters. 5 October 2011.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  2. John Brennan's April 2012 Wilson Center Speech: The Efficacy and Ethics of U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy (Transcript and Video).
  3. DOJ Whitepaper