Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air:
One of the tertiary issues that never got much attention during the presidential campaign was the use of drones to conduct the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and other loci of Islamist terrorist networks. It didn’t get much attention because Mitt Romney’s position on the use of drones didn’t provide much contrast from Barack Obama, and it seemed clear that the US would have continuity in this one area of policy regardless of who won the election.
That frustrated human-rights activists on the Left, who want the US to seriously curtail these attacks or stop them altogether, but have gained no traction with the Obama administration during his first term in office. Obama has remained determined thus far to keep the drone attack as a tactic open to him as he sees fit, acting as Commander in Chief. That probably wouldn’t get a lot of opposition from Republicans and hawks in both parties.
However, it seems as though Obama does have an objection to anyone else but him having that discretion. The New York Times reported yesterday on a ghastly hypocrisy within the White House, which tried to impose limits on the use of drones, limits that would activate if Obama lost the election:
Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.
Great! So they’re going to put these restrictions forward for their own use now, right? Er ….