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Saturday, November 24, 2012

'Tension' Over Drone Strikes

Big new piece just up at NYT by Scott Shane on untold story of how the Obama  team tried to "codify" its kill-now-ask-questions-later drone strike policy before Election Day--so that Romney, if it came to that, would have a clear policy to "inherit" and continue (or, who knows, expand).  Figures updated list 300 strikes and 2500 dead, so far (many civilians). 
Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory.
Though publicly the administration presents a united front on the use of drones, behind the scenes there is longstanding tension. The Defense Department and the C.I.A. continue to press for greater latitude to carry out strikes; Justice Department and State Department officials, and the president’s counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, have argued for restraint, officials involved in the discussions say.
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