House Democrat Calls For Creation Of 'Hostage Czar' After Drone Strike

WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) said Sunday that the administration should name a "hostage czar" amid revelations that a U.S. drone strike killed two innocent hostages in Pakistan.

“What we're calling for is the creation of effectively a hostage czar, which deals with a slightly different issue, which deals with finding these hostages,” Delaney said on ABC's "This Week."

President Barack Obama on Thursday took full responsibility for the deaths of Warren Weinstein, an American hostage, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national hostage.

“In my experience with Warren's case, we do not do as good of a job, or an effective a job as we could as a country in locating these hostages,” Delaney said.

After al Qaeda captured Weinstein in 2011, his family reportedly paid over $200,000 in ransom, but the kidnappers failed to uphold their end of the bargain.

“Warren was held as a hostage for over three years and the coordination between the different parts of our government -- and the individuals in those different parts work really hard on these matters, but we just didn't see the kind of coordination and effectiveness in leveraging some of our partners in the region to actually identify where these hostages are,” Delaney said.

The accidental deaths of the two hostages have raised questions among lawmakers about the country's drone program and if it needs more oversight from the Defense Department.



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