Obama ‘assassinated’ Americans in airstrikes: Ron Paul
US President Barack Obama has “literally assassinated” Americans in drone strikes, former American Congressman Ron Paul says.
In a video posted on his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Liberty, the former Republican presidential candidate criticized Obama for the “targeted assassination” of Americans following an announcement by the White House on Thursday that two hostages, including one American, were killed during a US operation against an al-Qaeda compound near the Afghan-Pakistani border.
The White House identified the hostages killed in the operation in January as American contractor Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto.
Paul said that Obama had already known the incident but just decided to publicly talk about it because the media was informed of the strikes.
“I think he knew about it, but the press got hold of it he felt like that he had to come for it,” he said during the “Ron Paul Liberty Report.”
“There were other people killed, but you won’t read about it in the media I’m quite sure because they were two Americans who had joined al-Qaeda, so they are automatically very bad people,” he added.
“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 that we didn’t want them to do.”
Obama expressed his regrets on Thursday morning and apologized on behalf of the US government.
“As president and as Commander-in-Chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni”.
The US military has used the unmanned aircraft in several Muslim countries, including Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Washington claims that its airstrikes target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks. The UN has called the US drone attacks targeted killings that flout international law.
The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush in 2004, have been escalated under Obama.