Amina Ismail, a journalist at McClatchy: I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?
Jay Carney, White House press secretary: Well, I would have to know more about the incident and then obviously the Department of Defense would have answers to your questions on this matter. We have more than 60,000 U.S. troops involved in a war in Afghanistan, a war that began when the United States was attacked, in an attack that was organized on the soil of Afghanistan by al Qaeda, by Osama bin laden and others and more than 3,000 people were killed in that attack. And it has been the President’s objective once he took office to make clear what our goals are in Afghanistan and that is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda. And with that as our objective to provide enough assistance to Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government to allow them to take over security for themselves. And that process is underway and the United States has withdrawn a substantial number of troops and we are in the process of drowning down further as we hand over security lead to Afghan forces. And it is certainly the case that I refer you to the defense department for details that we take great care in the prosecution of this war and we are very mindful of what our objectives are.
…in an attempt to completely dodge the original question. Just throw in the words “al Qaeda” & “terrorism” here & there, & you’ve got a White House response.
“This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.” - President Obama
June 10, 2012
The Afghan president’s office said the security accord with the US is at risk after Wednesday’s airstrike that killed 18 villagers. The pact is a key part of the withdrawal plan for the NATO-led coalition from the country.
The raid, in the eastern province of Logar, saw a supposedly joint Afghan-coalition force surround a village where a Taliban leader was holed up. In the ensuing firefight, the Americans called an air strike, which killed 18 people, including 5 women and 7 children, who’d gathered for a wedding celebration.
Following an Afghan investigation into the event, President Karzai’s office blamed US commanders on Saturday for taking a unilateral decision to bomb the village. “The Americans didn’t wait for the Afghans to try and flush out the militants and unilaterally called for a strike,” presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said.
Kabul believes the act violated the terms of a strategic security pact between Afghanistan and the US, which was signed in the spring. The agreement sets a roadmap for handing over responsibility for security in the country to the Afghan side. Particularly, it sets the Afghan government in charge of special operations like the one in Logar.
The Logar incident was the fifth time civilian casualties were caused by unilateral US actions since the pact was signed, Faizi said. He added President Karzai and his advisers decided that, if another unapproved airstrike occurs, the Afghan government will have to consider that the US troops part of an “occupation”.
Yet, somehow we don’t have enough money for schools, healthcare or food to feed the hungry.