Congressman Bruce Braley is praising the covert U.S. military operation in Yemen which has killed two Americans with ties to al Qaida.
“Given the history of these individuals, they got what they deserved,” Braley says.
U.S. officials have confirmed the attack in Yemen killed a U.S.-born cleric who played a role in inspiring attacks against the United States, as well as another al Qaida operative who edited an on-line magazine for the terror network which featured bomb-making instructions. Civil liberties groups have questioned whether the U.S. government has the authority to kill an American citizen without a trial. Braley, who is a lawyer, says the killing appears to be justified.
“One of the things we all should be concerned about is protecting the rights of American citizens, but in this case, this is actually something that the intelligence community and the military have been tracking for a long time,” Braley says. “The activities of this particular individual have directly led to terrorist activities directly harmful to the people of this country.”
The U.S. military and the C.I.A. had been tracking the two men for the past three weeks and early today unmanned drones launched the strikes which killed the al Qaida operatives.
“It’s a good example of what we should be focusing our military strategy and our military funding on going forward,” Braley says, “and that’s targeted, direct strikes that don’t require us to spend billions of dollars on out-dated weapons systems that, quite frankly, we can’t afford.”
Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, made his comments late this morning (Friday) during taping of the “Iowa Press” program which airs tonight at 7:30 on Iowa Public Television.
The other members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are unavailable for immediate comment on the incident in Yemen.