U.S. drone policy involves more killing we don't talk about

by Mary Ann McGivern

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In late October, Slate published an online map of all the reported U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.

Discussion of drone policy got only a few seconds in the third presidential debate. Moderator Bob Schieffer said we know President Barack Obama's position, and asked Gov. Mitt Romney, who said he believes we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world, that the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.

Now The New York Times has reported that up to the election, the White House was working overtime to develop a clear policy for drone use.

That effort has slowed because Obama won't be handing the rule book for drone strikes over to Romney. The Times says that rule book is so classified that it is hand-delivered from office to office. What we need is not to keep secrets, but to join the public international debate about the morality of drone usage.

It seems to me to be flat-out wrong to take out people who pose a threat to us, killing alongside these presumed threats their families and neighbors.

There's a lot of killing we don't talk about in these United States.

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