Two hostages killed by mistake

n.c.radomesStarred Page By n.c.radomes, 28th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Politics

This account shows that the current U.S. mid-air assault weapon using unmanned drone is effective, but it respects nobody friend or foe. What's your take on this? Is it advisable for Uncle Sam to go on using this strategy?

Two civilian hostages

Two Western civilians, one American and the other Italian were kidnapped and taken hostage by al-Qaeda in Pakistan. The American was Dr. Warren Weinstein, 73, an aid worker from Rockville, Maryland who was a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, was kidnapped in August 2011. Abducted on January 19, 2012 was 39-year old Italian citizen Giovanni Lo Porto who was working for Welthungerhilfe, a German aid group; he had been hired to manage a sanitation and drinking water facility. He went to Pakistan to help people after the major flooding, according to the White House.

Apology from Pres. Obama

Weinstein had asked help from Obama for his release, saying that he felt abandoned by the U.S. government. This was shown in a video released by al-Qaeda in 2013. His wife Elaine Weinstein also complained that the assistance from the U.S. government was "inconsistent and disappointing."
President Obama apologized for the January drone strike that accidentally killed two al-Qaeda hostages: Dr. Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto.
Obama said he took full responsibility for the operation and apologized to the families of the hostages. He regrets what happened, he said.

Two Americans working for the al-Qaeda slain

The White House said the counterterrorism operation, and another this year in the same region, also killed two other Americans believed to be working with al-Qaeda.
Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qaeda Indian Branch leader, was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of Weinstein and Lo Porto, Earnest said.
Another American who had joined al-Qaeda, in 1998, Oregon-born Adam Gadahn, 36, served as an interpreter and spokesman for al Qaeda and was indicted by a federal grand jury in California for treason in 2006.
He was also killed in a separate operation in January. Earnest said Gadahn was not the specific target of that strike.

Remains of hostages not recovered

Obama said he had a talk with Weinstein's widow, Elaine, on Wednesday, April 22 and she said through a statement Thursday, April 23, that she doesn’t fully understand what happened and decided to wait for the results of the government investigation.
A U.S. official said the remains of Weinstein and Lo Porto have not been recovered. Compensation to the two families will be provided by the government, said the White House.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), working with the Weinstein family to free him, called Weinstein and Lo Porto "assets to humanity" and said the U. S. and allies need to step up efforts to protect aid workers from future threats.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who requested the Obama administration to reveal the number of deaths in U.S. air strikes, said the Senate Intelligence Committee was already investigating the incident.
Obama told Italian PM Matteo Renzi of the operation Wednesday. Renzi replied expressing deep sorrow for the incident and lamented the tragic error made by the American allies.

Assessment was wrong

U.S. forces did not know the hostages were at the al-Qaeda site when the counterterrorism operation took place in January along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, administration officials said.
Citing anonymous administration officials, the Wall Street Journal, said it was a CIA drone strike on the Pakistani side of the border region.
The site of the attack had been under surveillance for hours, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
The spying used methods, including drone imagery, and discovered a known al-Qaeda operative driving into the compound, said U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity.
Based on that findings, intelligence analysts concluded that al-Qaeda leaders were present and that civilians were not, said Earnest.
Clearly, the latter assessment was incorrect," he said

Review of drone practices

Obama said he has ordered a full investigation and will declassify information about the operation because "the Weinstein and Lo Porto families deserve to know the truth."
Lawmakers say gov't should investigate hostage deaths
In a 2013 speech at the National Defense University, Obama said he believed it was unconstitutional to target American citizens with drone strikes unless they were "actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens" and capture was not possible.
The White House has ordered a review of drone practices to prevent future targeting of civilians, but Earnest indicated that such strikes will continue to be part of the U.S. counterterrorism strategy, said USA Today


  • / Rumsfeld Helped Al Qaeda Establish a Stronghold in Northwestern ...Map: Waziristan including Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA
  • / President Obama revealed that a U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan inadvertently killed an American and an Italian, two hostages held by al-Qaida.
  • /American al-Qaeda leaders killed in U.S. counterterror strikes
  • / Elaine, Dr. Weinstein wife
  • / Family of American al-Qaeda hostage 'devastated' by his death
  • / Stung by the international and domestic criticism of its drone targeted killing programme, in May 2013 President Obama delivered a major speech on ...

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Killed In A Drone Attack In January

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author avatar n.c.radomes
Retired government employee; finds hubbing, blogging on any interesting topic enjoyable.

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author avatar Retired
28th Apr 2015 (#)

How terrible. And I feel so sad for the family.

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author avatar Mariah
28th Apr 2015 (#)

I echo coffee queen's comment, unbearable grief for the families concerned.
A powerful message contained in this excellent post nc, thank you for sharing this.

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Apr 2015 (#)

Nice post, but we must be clear that in an anti terror operation such mistakes do take place. This does not call for an end to such operations. I have operated against Muslim terrorists in Kashmir and I can say the dividing line is thin. There is no way such incidents can be stopped and have to be accepted

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author avatar spirited
29th Apr 2015 (#)

nothing much will change while Obama drones on about it.

I sort of feel it's using underhanded tactics that aren't fully controllable as yet.

Good questioning article, n.c.Radomes

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author avatar Writestuff
29th Apr 2015 (#)

Thanks for formative post. 'War is hell' and the lost of life via these kind of operations very sad. Many vet know this as an SNAFU.

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author avatar Helen Thomas
1st May 2015 (#)

Thanks ~ n.c. for a well-written, informative article. Blessings!

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