Obama apparently doesn't sign off on drone strikes now, CIA just does it themselves

Warren Weinstein, an American held hostage by Al Qaeda since 2011, was killed in an American  counterterrorism operation.

Warren Weinstein, an American held hostage by Al Qaeda since 2011, was killed in an American "counterterrorism operation," which is fancy talk for a drone strike gone wrong.

A U.S. aid worker and another man held hostage by Al Qaeda were killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan in January, American officials disclosed this week, "underscoring the perils of a largely invisible, long-distance war waged through video screens, joysticks and sometimes incomplete intelligence." From the New York Times report, it seems our President has effectively outsourced the management of our nation's drone strike "kill list" entirely to the CIA now.

Intending to wipe out a compound linked to the terrorist group, the Central Intelligence Agency authorized the attack with no idea that the hostages were being held there despite hundreds of hours of surveillance, the officials said. Even afterward, they said, the agency did not realize at first that it had killed an American it had long sought to rescue, with the wrenching news becoming clear over time.

The violent death of an American at the hands of his own government proved a searing moment in a drone war that has come to define the nation's battle with Al Qaeda, especially since President Obama took office. Visibly upset, Mr. Obama came to the White House briefing room shortly after his staff issued a written statement announcing the deaths to make a rare personal apology.

The two innocent hostages killed in the January 15 drone strike in a remote area of Pakistan, according to the CIA: Warren Weinstein, an American kidnapped in 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian seized in 2012.

"Obama Apologizes After Drone Kills American and Italian Held by Al Qaeda"

And an homage to Weinstein's life and work is here. He was an aid worker and economic advisor. [nytimes.com]

[HT: Trevor Timm]