By Ben Kamisar
Former presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul (R) is criticizing President Obama for the “targeted assassination” of Americans in al Qaeda.
While Obama apologized Thursday for airstrikes that killed two hostages, American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto, Paul said the media should be paying more attention to the two American terrorism suspects who were killed.
“Being an American citizen means nothing in this day and age of no law and order so they were literally assassinated, this was a targeted assassination of Americans because they were doing something we didn’t want them to do.”
Paul is the father of Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulRepublicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Hate TV customer service? So does your senator Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate narrowly rejects expanding FBI surveillance powers MORE (R-Ky.), who is running for president in 2016.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama hadn’t signed off on the two strikes on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and that counterterrorism officials followed protocol that seeks to ensure that al Qaeda members are the target.
But the White House stressed that the government did not know the two American terrorism suspects, Ahmed Farooq and Adam Ghadan, were present. That means it’s unlikely that the strikes were cleared through the Justice Department, as has been standard practice other times where American citizens are targeted.
It’s unclear how the strike was carried out, but The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have reported that it was a drone attack.
Paul is a noted anti-interventionist and a frequent critic of the administration’s drone program. On the campaign trail during the 2012 presidential election, he bashed the president and said that the strategic gains don’t outweigh the animosity against America that is fostered by the accidental killing of civilians.
“It's still heartache no matter what because I don’t think we should be hitting anybody with drones under the conditions we have today,” he said.