By Jeremy Herb - 02/01/12 06:56 PM EST
The answer prompted headlines overseas that Obama had “admitted” and “confirmed” the drone program, and a Pakistani official called the strikes, which Pakistan has long known about, “unlawful, counterproductive and hence unacceptable.”
“Mr. Obama said that there are civilian casualties but it’s not a lot. By conservative estimates these drone attacks have killed hundreds of people,” Engel said in a video posted to YouTube. “That’s a lot of people by anyone’s standards, and I would hope by President Obama’s.”
Obama defended the use of drones on Monday, calling them precise, targeted strikes on terrorists who are actively plotting to carry out attacks against the United States.
Engel, who describes himself as politically independent, said in an email that he wasn’t an Obama supporter in 2008 because of his position on expanding the war in Afghanistan. Of course, he didn’t support the GOP nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, either — he voted for a third candidate.
The Brooklyn-ite, who has previously worked for Al Gore’s Current TV, said he had a pre-planned trip to the Middle East this week, and now he’s going to expand his trip to look at the issue of drone strikes.