Two articles on the ongoing drone offensive that ran in the last ten days, pretty good for getting an idea of the scope of the thing/an outline of the process. One in the Post
The quickening pace of the U.S. drone campaign in Yemen this year has raised new questions about who is being targeted and why. A review of strikes there so far suggests that the Obama administration has embraced a broader definition of what constitutes a terrorism threat that warrants a lethal response.
[Officials] said the campaign is now also aimed at wiping out a layer of lower-ranking operatives through strikes that can be justified because of threats they pose to the mix of U.S. Embassy workers, military trainers, intelligence operatives and contractors scattered across Yemen
and another in the Times.
But in interviews, three former senior intelligence officials expressed disbelief that the [civilian casualty] could be so low. The C.I.A. accounting has so troubled some administration officials outside the agency that they have brought their concerns to the White House. One called it “guilt by association” that has led to “deceptive” estimates of civilian casualties. “It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the official said. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.”
The two LBJ references in the NYT article (implicitly, the President going over target lists; explicitly, the unnamed official saying LBJ “would have steamrolled” people who opposed the Administration’s policy on Guantanamo) are interesting. The overall tone (and the number of administration officials who spoke on the record) suggest that there’s some election-year messaging in there, but saying LBJ isn’t viewed as the hero of the Vietnam War is an understatement.
(White House response is that the article’s not politicking.)