This morning Obama took to the mic to disclose an accident in January that left two hostages, one an American, dead. A drone strike targeting an al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan killed American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto, both civilian aid workers.
Obama took full responsibility for the incident, apologizing directly to the families.
“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,”
Obviously no one wants to see innocent hostages killed anywhere, for any reason, in any way. Obviously. But when you have to combat terrorism, these things are going to happen. These two guys didn’t die because America made a bad decision; they died because al Qaeda thugs take people against their will, hold them in inhumane conditions and attempt to take advantage of their lives to advance their own agenda.
Two al Qaeda operatives, who are believed to be American, were also killed in the strikes.
In terms of the intelligence involved, CNN writes about White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s statement.
Earnest said during the briefing Thursday that U.S. officials believed with “near certainty” there were no hostages at the target site and that the strike was carried out after “hundreds of hours of surveillance” on the al Qaeda compound and “near continuous surveillance in the days leading up to the operation.”
Weinstein, who resided in Maryland, had been missing since he was abducted in 2011. His wife said Warren committed his entire life to helping others and that she and the Weinstein family are disappointed with the U.S. government and its allies, saying they let Warren be forgotten.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 23, 2015