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US Drone Strike Kills two Hostages

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    President Obama just made a statement that two hostages, one American and one Italian, where killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan on an Al Qaeda target.


    White House: U.S. drone strikes killed two al Qaeda hostages

    The White House said Thursday that a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January accidentally killed two innocent hostages, an American and an Italian who were being held by al Qaeda.

    U.S. officials tell CBS News that the operatiosn were CIA drone strikes conducted on the 14 and 19th of January in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American, had been held by al Qaeda since 2011. Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national, had been held since 2012.

    "As president and as commander in chief I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of warren and Giovanni," Mr. Obama said in the White House briefing room Thursday morning. "I profoundly regret what happened."

    In a statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "our hearts go out" to their families.

    "Analysis of all available information has led the Intelligence Community to judge with high confidence that the operation accidentally killed both hostages. The operation targeted an al-Qa'ida-associated compound, where we had no reason to believe either hostage was present, located in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy," Earnest said.

    In the statement, he also said that the U.S. believes two other Americans who had joined al Qaeda were also killed. Ahmed Farouq, who the White House said was an al Qaeda leader, was killed in the same operation that killed Weinstein and Lo Porto. Additionally, he said, Adam Gadahn, who the White House said became a prominent member of al Qaeda, was killed "likely in a separate U.S. government counterterrorism operation."

    The men were not specifically targeted, Earnest said, "and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations."

    This is not the first time Americans have been killed by U.S. drone strikes. In 2011, the CIA and U.S, military targeted and killed U.S-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki with a drone strike in Yemen. In an attempt to justify the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen, Mr. Obama outlined al-Awlaki's involvement in planning and directing attempts to murder Americans when his death was announced.

    At least three other Americans have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen since 2009, although unlike Awlaki, they were not targeted.

    Earnest said that Mr. Obama ordered the information declassified and shared with the American people.

    "He takes full responsibility for these operations and believes it is important to provide the American people with as much information as possible about our counterterrorism operations, particularly when they take the lives of fellow citizens," Earnest said. "The uniquely tragic nature of the operation that resulted in the deaths of two innocent hostages is something we will do our utmost to ensure is not repeated."

    "To this end, although the operation was lawful and conducted consistent with our counterterrorism policies, we are conducting a thorough independent review to understand fully what happened and how we can prevent this type of tragic incident in the future," he said.

    Weinstein, who was an aid worker, was kidnapped in 2011 after al Qaeda militants tricked his guards and broke into his home in Lahore, Pakistan. He was the country director for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm.

    After his kidnapping, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri demanded that the U.S. stop carrying out airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and release al Qaeda and Taliban suspects around the world.

    In 2012, Weinstein appeared in a video released by al Qaeda appealing to the president to meet their demands.

    "My life is in your hands, Mr. President," Weinstein he said. "If you accept the demands, I live; if you don't accept the demands, then I die."

    Gadahn, one of the American al Qaeda members, had been hunted by the FBI since 2004. In a 2010 video he called for Muslims living in the United States and Europe to carry out attacks there.

    He grew up on a farm in California and converted to Islam before moving to Pakistan in 1998 where he reportedly attended an al-Qaeda training camp.
  2. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Houston only fan
    Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2009
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    Sad day, but nice to see a COF that can take responsibility. Unlike the number of innocents that died at W's Iraq war.
  3. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    What's a COF? :confused:
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Oct 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Can't make an omelet . . . . . . *sigh*
    We kill so easily . . .from video game consoles. . . .

    Reminds me of Kirk's speech Star Trek - A Taste of Armageddon
    KIRK: "Death, destruction, disease, horror. That's what war is all about, Anan. That's what makes it a thing to be avoided. You've made it neat and painless. So neat and painless, you've had no reason to stop it. And you've had it for five hundred years. . "

    Rocket River
  5. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

    Jul 7, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I hate when people say things like "I take full responsibility" or "the buck stops here" when there are no consequences.

    I'm not even saying there NEED to be consequences, but it's just annoying to hear.

    POTUS: Sorry your husband is dead. I take full responsibility for this.
    Wife: What does that mean? You are going to resign? Plead guilty to manslaughter? Cut me a check to cover his future earnings? Pay for my kids college?
    POTUS: Uh...I can give you a hug?

    This is true regardless of the president. I'm pretty sure Bush made similar statements.

    Even in business, I hate when a CEO says this but does nothing about it.
  6. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

    Feb 15, 1999
    Likes Received:
    They are paying the family.

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