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

(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.

In this Jan. 31, 2010 file photo, an unmanned US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night.
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)
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