- The Washington Times - Monday, November 4, 2013

President Obama was overheard bragging to administration aides about his ability to kill people with drones, a new book about the 2012 campaign season that’s due for release on Tuesday claimed.

The president’s specific words: I’m “really good at killing people,” authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann write in “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” The Daily Mail reported. They get their claim from a Washington Post report that buries the statement as a brief anecdote in an article, in which the president is described as speaking to aides about the drone program and then making the claim.

The White House hasn’t responded to the book — but a spokesman did indicated on Sunday talk shows that the president hates information leaks.

“I haven’t talked to him about the book,” said adviser Dan Pfeiffer on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I haven’t read it. He hasn’t read it. But he hates leaks.”

Mr. Obama’s reported statement comes at a time of increasing criticism for his use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London reports that Mr. Obama has given approval for 326 drone strikes. And since 2004, drones have killed between 2,500 and 3,600 — 950 of whom are considered civilians, the organization claims, The Daily Mail reported.

The White House says those figures are incorrect, but has not released their own statistics.

The book’s claims are even more interesting when it’s remembered that Mr. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his “extraordinary efforts” to bolster democracy around the world, The Daily Mail said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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