Cheney: Obama Should Have Sent Airstrike to Destroy Drone

Katie Pavlich
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 7:24 AM

Former Vice President Dick Cheney isn't too impressed with President Obama simply asking for our highly classified stealth drone back from the Iranians and said in an interview with CNN that the president should have ordered a quick airstrike to destroy it. The drone was shot down by the Iranians last week.

"I was told that the president had three options on his desk. He rejected all of them," former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN. "They all involved sending somebody in, you know, to try to recover it or -- if you can't do that, and admittedly, that'd be a difficult operation -- you certainly could have gone in and destroyed it on the ground with an airstrike."

"But he didn't take any of the options. He asked nicely for them to return it and they aren't gonna do that."

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says the U.S. drone program will continue:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, said that the stealth drone campaign along the Iran-Afghanistan border will "absolutely" continue despite the loss of a valuable and sophisticated drone to Iran.

The mysterious loss of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone has revealed not only that the U.S. was spying on Iran, but also that the program was being run from Shindad Air Base in western Afghanistan.

Panetta would not comment directly on what that drone was doing over Iran, but he said the U.S. military has no plans to halt the drone operation out of western Afghanistan.

"Those operations have to be protected in order to do the job and the mission that they're involved with," he said.