Obama admits to Pakistan drone strikes
January 30th, 2012
09:48 PM ET

Obama admits to Pakistan drone strikes

Maybe it was one of the worst kept secrets in Washington and Pakistan, but U.S. officials rarely admit publicly to the active use of drones to hunt down Al Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan. One reason is out of deference to the Pakistan, whose government relents to the drone flights even while publicly condemning it because the Pakistani populace is so against the strikes.

That being said, the president on Monday casually revealed to his Google+ hangout that "a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA, and going after al Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military actions than the one we're already engaging in." (FATA being the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan where Al Qaeda and many Taliban are ensconced).

The answer will likely anger Pakistan which, our Islamabad-based correspondent Reza Sayah reports, is already unhappy about Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta telling CBS's 60 Minutes that he believes, in his opinion, someone in Pakistan's government had to know about Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbattobad.

That same interview also had Panetta revealing about the doctor who helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden. Another detail that while it has been reported, had not been publicly acknowledged before by the American government.

This all comes as Pakistan and the U.S. are at a stand still in relations. After a border post firefight that killed two dozen Pakistani troops, cooperation has been frozen. The U.S. only recently restarted drone strikes but key border crossings for moving NATO supplies into Afghanistan remain shut by the Pakistanis.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • drones • Pakistan • Taliban
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    Odd, I watched a show on the Packastan drone attacks in the tribal regions not long after Obama took office and have seen reports on this on TV news shows for years now...So why are the Republican's making a big deal out of it now? It has been common knowledge for years and has been talked about on the news documentary type shows fairly often – Are the Republican's that convinced that their followers are completely clueless and wouldn't know the difference between common knowledge and some conspiracy they suddenly tried to manufacture? I mean it was certainly not a secret – Weird – but not too surprising – given the endless falsehoods stated in the debates.

    January 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  79. rk

    pakis....what happenned to all that chest thumping about pak being soverign nation..and that pak is 'reassessing' relations with US...??? first panetta and today obama..both slapping paki govt or isi or whatever they have there.. in public....looks like pak's days are numbered on the world map....

    January 31, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Chickenhawk Newt

      Yes – they're almost as big a toilet as India.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • Nite Owl

      It's a lot easier for them to look the other way and let more US soldiers get killed than it is for the US to do the same. Panetta and Obama slap down Pakistan and another 50 US soldiers pay the ultimate price. No big deal to you, Panetta or Obama I'm sure.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  80. JustGetThem

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    January 31, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Lobo74

      Just like you phony liberal doves would be crying for humanity when Bush was doing it.

      February 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  81. Iranacockuptheirass

    Good job Mr. President. He helps lower the desert monkey people

    January 31, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
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    January 31, 2012 at 6:34 am | Reply
    • Iranacockuptheirass

      Nite Owl you need to go to the great desert land of the monkey people. America doesn't need homo's like you but Iran will take you in as long as you can stomach killing your wife in front of your children... thats the way they roll

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  84. Nite Owl

    If the US approves of drone strikes in sovereign countries I guess they won't mind when there's a few more 9/11 style drone strikes on American soil.

    January 31, 2012 at 3:43 am | Reply
    • Lobo74

      Nope. We're safe because Obama's a democrat.

      January 31, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
    • mipolitic

      nite owl your remarks touch a nerve that may bring out a nite hawk , with the tenacity of an eagle. jerk !

      January 31, 2012 at 6:28 am | Reply
      • Nite Owl

        I guess you only approve of mass murder when Americans do it. Jerk-Off!

        January 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Dilaudid King

      That's what I was thinking– These policies of aerial murder by US Gov't is wrong & nothing but murder, bloodshed & terrorizing other people while calling them the 'terrorists', Ha! What a joke!

      January 31, 2012 at 6:36 am | Reply
    • michaelfury

      "9/11 style drone strikes"

      You may be closer to the truth than you know.


      January 31, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
  85. Airman

    There is nothing wrong with drone strikes. Perhaps in the next few months we will be able to use drone strikes domestically (in Houston foe example where we have several prototypes deployed) to save lives. Everyday, robberies are committed in that hellhole in Texas. Houston PD now has the technology to put a hellfire missile up the perpetrators ass in the getaway car. We need domestic law enforcement to have some balls and take the shot and blow these motherfuckers off the asphalt. USA is bad ass bad mothefuckers !!!!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • Gen. MacArthur; Mama's Little Fairy-Boy

      Maybe one will fly into your trailer. What a fuckin' tragedy that would be.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
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        January 31, 2012 at 8:44 am |
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