What, no time for golf? Social media isn’t buying Obama ‘regret’ for hostages killed in US drone strikes

In an extremely rare admission of fault, President Obama acknowledged during a news conference Thursday that U.S. drone strikes against al Qaeda in January killed two innocent hostages.

“It is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally, and our fight against terrorists specifically, mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes, can occur,” Obama said.

The deadly mistake took the lives of Warren Weinstein, an American hostage held by al Qaeda since 2011, and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto, a hostage held since 2012.

The U.S. operation was targeting an al Qaeda compound along the Afghanistan and Pakistan border. It is believed two American al Qaeda operatives were also killed during separate January attacks, according to CBS News.

Obama’s televised concern about dead American hostages isn’t normal White House practice. One of the more infamous moments of the Obama presidency, in fact, came last August, when the president announced the beheading death of photojournalist James Foley — then immediately went golfing on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

“As president and commander in chief I take full responsibility for all counterterrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovani,” Obama said Thursday.

“No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy.”

Social media users had plenty of words about Obama’s admission and questioned the president’s authenticity and his timing:

One person took Obama’s apology at face value:

Nope. That’s why hardly anyone’s buying it.


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