The CIA tells Pakistan in advance about "broad areas" where it intends to take aim at suspected terrorists with drone strikes and interprets the other government's silence and clearing of airspace as "tacit consent," The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
"The rationale used by the administration, interpreting Pakistan's acquiescence as a green light, has set off alarms among some administration legal officials. In particular, lawyers at the State Department, including top legal adviser Harold Koh, believe this rationale veers near the edge of what can be considered permission, though they still think the program is legal, officials say."
Officially, says the Journal, "representatives of the White House's National Security Council and CIA declined to discuss Pakistani consent, saying such information is classified."
The strikes are aimed at fighters from al-Qaida, the Taliban and other groups that use parts of Pakistan as a safe haven from which to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.