Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in their homes is now in the custody of U.S. officials.
The rampage happened in Afghanistan over the weekend.
The Pentagon’s chief spokesperson said the basic war strategy in Afghanistan will not change despite the shootings and that the shooter acted on his own.
KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano was invited to the White House for an interview with President Barack Obama to discuss energy; however, given the events over the weekend, the topic of discussion changed.
Delano: “Many Americans say it’s time to get out now. What’s your answer to them?”
Obama: “Well, I think it’s important for us to make sure that we get out in a responsible way so that we don’t end up having to go back in or deal with al-Qaeda resurgent and potentially launching attacks against us. And so, what we try to do is create a responsible pathway for an exit where by the end – 2014 – we’ll have all our troops out.”
Delano: “So, this doesn’t make you more inclined to move us out faster?”
Obama: “Well, it makes me more determined to make sure that we’re getting our troops home. It’s time. It’s been a decade and frankly, now that we’ve gotten bin Laden, now that we’ve weakened al-Qaeda, we’re in a stronger position to transition than we would have been two or three years ago.”
Obama says that while he hopes to have all the troops out by 2014, that will be subject to some negotiation with the Afghans as part of an arrangement where there could be some troops left there beyond that time.
In an interview with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano asked her about risks to the United States.
Delano: “Are we on increased security because of that event in Afghanistan?”
Napolitano: “Look, we’re always leaning forward on security – it can be from al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda related groups. It can be from groups within the United States, lone wolves within the United States, so we’re always thinking ahead about what could be the next avenue of attack, how best to prevent it.”
The secretary was clear that the policy of the United States to all its citizens is to look. If you see something suspicious – call the police.