White House Pushed for Drone Rules to Give 'President Romney'
Explicit procedures are still in the works
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2012 6:34 AM CST
In this Jan. 31, 2010 file photo, an unmanned US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

(Newser) – President Obama's administration was worried enough about his chances of getting re-elected that it quickly worked to codify US drone policy, the New York Times reports. Two administration officials say the White House was working quickly to write up explicit standards, procedures, and rules for drone strikes so a hypothetical President Mitt Romney would have a clear idea of how to proceed. "There was concern that the levers might no longer be in our hands," says one official.

Despite the fact that there will be no President Romney, Obama's administration is still working to formalize the rules about when lethal strikes are called for. Since Obama took office, more than 300 CIA drone strikes have killed 2,500 people, and there is still internal debate about how often such strikes should be used. The CIA and the Defense Department want more flexibility, while the Justice Department, the State Department, and Obama's counterterrorism adviser want more restraint. Click for more.

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Showing 3 of 78 comments
Nov 25, 2012 4:19 PM CST
The White House scrambling to cover its own ass in case it got tossed out and had to publicly defend its "policy." The White House hastily writing justification for its behavior so there seemed to be a "policy" in case the opposition took control. John Yu, anyone?
Nov 25, 2012 9:38 AM CST
300 drone strikes = how many American troops out of harm's way? Less chance of troops running into roadside bombs, suicide bombers, ambushes, etc.. on the way to get/kill a target.
Nov 25, 2012 8:23 AM CST
I would have liked to see what a President Romney and a GOP/Tea Party-controlled Congress would do in codifiying rules for using armed drones overseas... or would they also them also use them to seal our border with Mexico? That the Pentagon and CIA want flexibility is obvious -- they're the ones on the scene doing the fighting! Arm-chair generals (military and civilian) are always screwing up the works, but then their butts are never in the line-of-fire. Even so, all this discussion in The New York Times quoting two unnamed Administration officials is even more troubling -- doesn't anyone know how to keep their mouth shut? Al-Qaeda and its iterations/associates should not be given the data to figure out why, when, where and how we use these drones! (Wouldn't it have been nice to have a couple of heavily armed drones over Bengazhi?)