On Monday a C.I.A. drone strike in Yemen killed three suspected Qaeda fighters. Then on Tuesday President Obama called for the regulation of unmanned aircraft.

But I left out the connective tissue. The president wasn’t talking about Yemen, or about regulating drones used to kill suspected terrorists abroad, which often kill bystanders.

He was reacting to the fact that, also on Monday, a recreational drone crashed onto the White House grounds. He figured that accident, which injured no one, was an example of why the United States needs to issue better guidelines for commercial drone use.

“There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife,” the president told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.“But we don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it.”

Hm. The same could be said for Mr. Obama’s drone-assassination program, which costs billions each year and which the Pentagon and the C.I.A. operate without clear guidelines or a publicly discussed framework for accountability.

NYT

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