I don’t have time to say much about this now, but thought some of y’all might, so I’m posting it:
A U.S. drone strike in January targeting a suspected al Qaeda compound in Pakistan inadvertently killed an American and Italian being held hostage by the group.
The killing of American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto is the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally killed a hostage in a drone strike.
The mishap represents a major blow to the Central Intelligence Agency and its covert drone program in Pakistan, which President Barack Obama embraced and expanded after coming to office in 2009….
My first thought — other than a very brief pondering of the WSJ’s choice of the word “mishap” — is to think, Why are we hearing this now? It happened in January. Why now? Why not earlier — or, if there was a good reason bearing on security to hold off, why not even later? Why this moment?
I’ll admit to some suspicion on that point when I read this part of the story:
In addition to the hostages, U.S. intelligence agencies believe American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn was killed in January in a separate incident. U.S. intelligence analysts believe he was likely killed in a CIA drone strike that took place after the one that killed Messrs. Weinstein and Lo Porto….
Remember in the past when an American was deliberately killed in a strike, and it generated a good deal of discussion and controversy? Well, this one will be less noticed, tucked in with the admission of inadvertently killing hostages.
Anyway, have at it…