Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

What is up with this story?

The news has been circulating that the Obama administration scrambled, before the election, to put the U.S.'s assassination program (oops, sorry, drone strikes) on a more formal footing, and "resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified."

There are just so many things wrong here. Why is the administration leaking this information, when it won't admit there is any drone strike program in place in any official capacity? (Selective leaking like this makes a mockery of FOIA, not to mention journalism.)

Given that Obama didn't feel the need for any formal legal framework before ordering attacks, what makes him think that Romney would? Further, what makes him think that the Romney administration would care what guidelines the outgoing officials had laid down?

And, given the scope and duration of drone strikes, what the heck took them so long to come up with legal fig leaves? I mean, the Bush administration's legal reasoning may have been crap, but at least they could turn it out on a reasonable schedule.

I'm trying to come up with a motivation here. I don't seriously believe that the administration is trying to signal it wants more cover from Congress, but it's a possibility. The other potential stance is that somebody believes drone strikes are so important that any interruption during a handover of power (due to questions about who authorizes strikes and under what circumstances) would be dangerous. Neither of those alternatives makes a whole lot of sense, though.
Tags: politics
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