President Obama “does not at all regret” ordering the unsuccessful mission to rescue an American hostage held by al Qaeda in Yemen, the White House said Monday.
Press secretary Josh Earnest said there were “a few reasons” the president stood by his decision to order the raid, during which U.S. captive Luke Somers was killed. He pointed to a video released by the militant group vowing to kill Somers by Saturday as a reason Obama felt compelled to order the raid on Friday night.
“There was a very limited window for action,” Earnest said. “And that is a testament, more than anything else, I think, to the bravery and skill of our men and women in uniform, who, like I said, for the second time in just a few weeks here, put their lives on the line in a very dangerous country in a very dangerous mission to try to secure the safe rescue of Mr. Somers.”
In a previous raid, U.S. special forces discovered other captives being held by al Qaeda, but not Somers.
Earnest also said the efforts served as “a clear sign of this president’s resolve to do everything possible to rescue Americans who are being held hostage anywhere around the globe.”
“Militants or extremist organizations that decide to take the risk of taking an American hostage are put on notice today,” Earnest said.
A second hostage, South African Pierre Korkie, was also killed by his captors during the raid, to the dismay of his family, who believed they had brokered a ransom payment for his release.
Upon the death of Osama Bin Laden Barack Obama leaped to take credit for it, using an endless stream of first person pronouns. He really ought to personally claim credit for the failures too.
More at The Hill
Based on what we know, I think the President did the right thing to attempt the rescue. Hopefully, all the terrorists were killed or captured (and we can ask the nicely if they would mind helping us fight their fellow terrorists). Missions like these sometimes fail, but the prospect of possible failure should not dissuade us from trying. Since the mission to rescue James Foley was delayed a month while Obama weighed his political options, I hope the same delay was not experienced here and everything that could be done was done.
Beyond that, who that has observed Obama’s MO for the past 8 years would expect him to own up to a failure?