In US Propaganda Exercise
Obama Apologizes, For Murdering Innocent Hostages In Pakistan
By Paige Lavender
April 23, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "HP"
- President Barack Obama gave
a statement Thursday after the White House announced U.S. drone strikes had
killed innocent American and Italian hostages in Pakistan, saying he takes full
responsibility for the operation.
"I profoundly regret what happened," Obama said, apologizing
to the families of the deceased.
A statement from the White House identified the hostages as
Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American held by al Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni
Lo Porto, an Italian national who had been an al Qaeda hostage since 2012.
According to the White House, the operation in which the two were killed
targeted an al Qaeda-associated compound, "where we had no reason to believe
either hostage was present, located in the border region of Afghanistan and
This image made from video released anonymously
to reporters in Pakistan, including the Associated Press on Thursday, Dec.
26, 2013, which is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Warren
Weinstein, a 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in
Pakistan by al-Qaida more than two years ago, appealing to President Obama
to negotiate his release.
Obama noted he had spoken with both Italian Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi and the wife of Weinstein about the deaths.
"As a husband and as a father, I cannot begin to imagine the
anguish that the Weinstein and Lo Porto families are feeling today," Obama said.
"I know there's nothing I can ever say or do to ease their
heartache," he added.
Two other Americans who were working with al Qaeda were also
recently killed in the same region, according to the White House. Ahmed Farouq,
an American who was an al Qaeda leader, was killed in the same operation that
took the lives of Weinstein and Lo Porto, while American Adam Gadahn, a member
of al Qaeda, was killed in a separate operation in January. The White House said
the two were not specifically targeted and counterterrorism officials "did not
have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations."
The Wall Street Journal
reports this is the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally
killed hostages in a drone strike.
"No words can fully express our regret over this terrible
tragedy," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
Obama defended U.S. counterterrorism operations in his remarks
Thursday, saying the strikes occurred after "hundreds of hours of surveillance"
had been conducted. He noted "it is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of
war generally, and in our fight against terrorists specifically, mistakes...can
After Obama gave his remarks, Weinstein's wife
released a statement on behalf of the family condemning the "cowardly
actions of those who took Warren captive" and expressing disappointment in the
“I want to thank Congressman John Delaney, Senator Barbara
Mikulski, and Senator Ben Cardin – as well as specific officials from the
Federal Bureau of Investigation – for their relentless efforts to free my
husband.” Elaine Weinstein said. “Unfortunately, the assistance we received from
other elements of the U.S. Government was inconsistent and disappointing over
the course of three and a half years. We hope that my husband’s death and the
others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the
U.S. Government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a
coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families.”
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ACLU Comment on Drone Strikes Killing Hostages
NEW YORK - President Obama announced today that a
U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed two al Qaeda hostages, an
American and an Italian. The White House also said it believed that
two other Americans were killed in other U.S. operations in the
Jameel Jaffer, American Civil
Liberties Union deputy legal director, had this reaction:
“These new disclosures raise troubling questions
about the reliability of the intelligence that the government is
using to justify drone strikes. In each of the operations
acknowledged today, the U.S. quite literally didn’t know who
it was killing. These and other recent strikes in which
civilians were killed make clear that there is a significant gap
between the relatively stringent standards the government says it’s
using and the standards that are actually being used. It would of
course be easier to assess this gap if the government routinely
released information about individual drone strikes. Unfortunately,
the president’s stated commitment to transparency can’t be squared
with the secrecy that still shrouds virtually every aspect of the
government’s drone program.”
The ACLU is currently fighting three Freedom of
Information Act lawsuits demanding information on the government’s
targeted killing program.
The newest, filed last month, seeks the Presidential Policy
Guidance that likely controls the program, as well as details on who
the government has killed and why.