Meanwhile, the world continues to be a dangerous place.
Islamist militants seized a foreign-operated gas field in Algeria early Wednesday and took at least 20 foreign hostages, including Americans, according to an Algerian government official and the country’s state-run news agency, in what the attackers called a retaliation for the French-led military intervention in neighboring Mali.
The Algerian agency said at least at least two people were killed in the gas-field seizure, including one British national, and the Algeria Interior Ministry said security forces had been dispatched to the area. The Algerian news agency said that the hostages included American, British, French, Norwegian and Japanese citizens.
First notified of the situation via:
— Melissa Clouthier (@MelissaTweets) January 16, 2013
Note that Panetta is apparently confirming that we have Americans being taken hostage.
PS: In the spirit of First, Do No Harm I recommend that the President avoid what may be for him a powerful temptation to carpet-bomb the area and/or throw together a kludged, walking-disaster of a special ops mission. He needs to take a breath, bring in the people in the military who actually know how to run a raid, give them their heads, and back them up if/when anything goes wrong. That’d be the smart thing to do.