According to a report published Sunday on the front page of the New York Times, the Obama administration is pushing ahead with plans to establish a more systematic and regular program of using unmanned drones to kill people selected by the White House for death.
The newspaper estimated that US drone strikes have killed more than 2,500 people -- a death toll approximating the number killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The article was written by Scott Shane, the same reporter who was the conduit for administration propaganda last May, glorifying drone missiles as a great advance in the "war on terror" and detailing Obama's personal role in the approval of targets.
Like the earlier report, Sunday's article describes the assassination program in entirely uncritical terms, raising questions only over the political motivation of the decision to "develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones." This effort was supposedly spurred by concern that Republican Mitt Romney might win the presidential election and inherit an open-ended drone missile program that he would then be able to define as he pleased.
The Times article claims that Obama and his top aides "are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory."