President Barack Obama publicly acknowledged the deadly drone strike campaign that has been waged on al-Qaida militants operating inside Pakistan and in the tribal regions along the Afghanistan border during an online address on January 30, Fox News reported.
According to the news outlet, during an online question-and-answer session, Obama surprised listeners with seemingly candid answers to a question about the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) worst kept secret: the drone missile strikes inside Pakistan.
“So, obviously, a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] and going after al-Qaida suspects who are up in very tough terrain along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the President said in response to a question.
Reporters asked White House spokesman Jay Carney about the President’s comments and he noted that he was “not going to discuss broadly or specifically supposed covert programs.”
The Washington Times reported that Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) hinted at criticism of Obama for openly discussing the still classified CIA program, noting the committee was put in a difficult situation due to the secret nature of the strikes.