It’s unusual to hear the President apologize for anything, and even more so to see a display of actual remorse, but that’s what happened yesterday, and it says something good about this President and our exceptional government.
The killing of two hostages in a Pakistani terrorist safe house may have been inevitable; surveillance is not an exact science, and our drone program even more so. But the elimination of top Al Qaeda operatives represents a national security priority, and these individuals were an unavoidable casualty of war. There was nothing wrong with our intelligence; it was a safe harbor for our enemies; in fact, they kept hostages there primarily as a human shield from drone attacks.
Nevertheless, the honesty of President Obama is refreshing, and after all this time as Commander-in-Chief, he has not lost his sense of humanity and concern. The President deserves nothing but praise for his counter-terrorism operations, and he may have prevented another 9/11 through his constant pressure, and yes, even decimation of core Al Qaeda.
Drone attacks save us from more costly ground operations, both in terms of financing and loss of life. We may not get it 100 percent right all the time, but unlike many other nations, we admit our errors and even publicize them as the President did yesterday. We may need additional protocols to prevent this kind of situation from happening again, but that doesn’t mean the whole drone program should be constrained in any major way.