No 'mistakes were made' apology

President Obama has taken full responsibility for the deaths of two hostages that had been held by al-Qaeda terrorists.

For that he deserves credit.

A drone strike in January targeted some terrorist leaders. Two men, one American and one Italian, also died in the strike.

The American was Warren Weinstein, an aid worker; the Italian was Giovanni Lo Porto. They had been captured by terrorists and, sadly, became the unintended victims of a strike aimed at killing enemies of the United States. The strike did kill some al-Qaeda leaders, but the president today had to own up to the deaths of the hostages.

“I realize there are no words that can ever equal their loss,” said Obama, who spoke with Weinstein’s wife and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The deaths of the two men perhaps say more about the nature of their captives than about the intelligence capabilities that preceded the drone strike. Obama said the best intelligence gathered indicated the hostages weren’t present in the target area.

One of the al-Qaeda leaders killed in the strike were two Americans, Ahmed Farouq and Adam Gadahn, who were described as leaders for the terror network.

And that brings to mind another matter for which the United States should not apologize: the killing of Americans who align themselves with enemies of their country. Farouq and Gadahn reportedly were not specific targets of the drone strike — to which I would ask: So what if they were?

We’ve killed other Americans who’ve defected to terror organizations and the U.S. government need not apologize for those deaths, either. Those former Americans have all but renounced their citizenship by the mere act of joining these ghastly terrorist cults.

It’s been maddeningly common over the years to hear government officials hide behind that passive-voice “mistakes were made” admission of responsibility. The problem with that kind of delivery is that it absolves individuals or specific organizations of any blame — if it is warranted — for the act that occurred.

We did not hear that today, which is to the credit of a president who isn’t hiding behind rhetorical trickery.