WASHINGTON — A group of unmanned Predator Drones was spotted ominously circling high over the White House yesterday. According to experts, the drones may be planning strikes against the president in retaliation for a speech he gave Thursday in which he announced that the United States would pursue a “narrower” drone strike strategy overseas.
Late Thursday evening, personnel at the Bolling Air Force base just outside of Washington, D.C. spotted the drones lurking over the normally-closed airspace. “As far as we can tell, nobody ordered them to carry out a mission in that area,” one official said. “They’re just looping around up there, watching, perhaps waiting to see if Obama really means it this time.”
According to military officials, the drones may have been angered by the president’s decision to impose “clear guidelines, oversight and accountability [for the use of drone strikes] that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that [he] signed yesterday.” “Used to be, the drones could operate with impunity, bombing targets wherever and whenever they felt like it,” a CIA official said. “But now the drones are hearing words like ‘guidelines’ and ‘accountability,’ and they’re getting pissed.”
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, says that the only reason the drones haven’t yet acted is that the new Presidential Policy Guidance still leaves ample room for drone strikes to be carried out with little oversight. “The drones are upset, because this would constitute a small check on their power, but they’re still pretty much free to operate as usual,” Romero said. “Plus, maybe they’re holding out hope that Obama won’t live up to these decidedly modest promises, as he tends to do in foreign policy matters.”
According to White House officials, Vice President Joe Biden is preparing a hot air balloon flight to meet with the drones and negotiate an end to the standoff. “We’re prepared to give them virtually all of Africa,” Mr. Biden said. “With little or no media there to document their actions, the drones will be free to crush lowly humanoids to their hearts’ content, as long as they stay out of South Africa.”