Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published May 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Page modified May 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Obama addresses drones, Guantanamo in speech

President Obama spoke Thursday about counter-terrorism policy, drone strike guidelines, the UK soldier attack and investigations into government leaks.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

Obama cites new framework for terror war

President Barack Obama says he has established a new framework to govern U.S. force against terrorists.

He says it includes clear guidelines as well as oversight and accountability. Obama says in a speech Thursday he put this framework into a single document by signing on Wednesday what is known as presidential policy guidance.

He also says he will talk to Congress about refining, and ultimately repealing, the authority it gave the president in 2001 to wage war on al-Qaida. He says he will not sign laws designed to expand that authority any further.

Obama cautions that terrorism will remain a national security problem. But he says it must be recognized that not every, quote, "collection of thugs" affiliated with al-Qaida will pose a credible threat to the U.S.

Obama endorses more oversight of drone strikes

President Barack Obama says his administration is willing to consider accepting increased oversight of lethal drone strikes outside of war zones like Afghanistan.

In a speech on new contours of his counterterrorism strategy, Obama took note Thursday of a number of proposed ways of doing that -- including the establishment of an independent oversight board in the executive branch of the government.

He did not endorse any particular proposal but said he will engage Congress in exploring a number of options for increased oversight. He cautioned that some proposals may introduce a layer of bureaucracy into national-security decision-making, without giving the public added confidence in the oversight process.

Obama also said that his administration already briefs Congress on all drone operations.

Obama: Congress briefed on every drone strike

President Barack Obama says his administration informs Congress about every drone strike America orders.

In a national security speech Thursday, Obama said the administration has briefed the appropriate congressional committees about all drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, such as in Yemen.

He says the briefings included the one instance in which an American citizen was the target: Anwar al-Awlaki. Officials say al-Awlaki was a leader in a branch of al-Qaida that operated in the Arabian peninsula, and that he had ties to at least three attacks planned or carried out on U.S. soil.

Obama spoke a day after the administration disclosed the deaths of three other Americans abroad in drone strikes.

Obama says he authorized the release of the information to encourage debate on the issue.

Obama lifts ban on detainee transfer to Yemen

President Barack Obama says he is lifting his ban on the transfer of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center to Yemen. And he is calling on Congress to lift its restrictions on detainee transfers, including limits on imprisoning them within the U.S.

In a wide-ranging national security speech, Obama says the Yemen transfers will now be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. does not transfer detainees to another country without receiving security assurances, including that those who remain a threat must not be released.

Obama halted all transfers to Yemen after the failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing attempt of an airliner over Detroit. The convicted bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, trained in Yemen.

Of the 166 detainees currently at Guantanamo, about 90 are Yemeni.

Obama: Policy in leaks investigations under review

President Barack Obama says Attorney General Eric Holder will review Justice Department policy on leaks investigations involving the news media.

Obama says in a speech on counterterrorism Thursday he's troubled by the idea that leaks investigations may chill the investigative journalism that he says holds government accountable.

In recent weeks, the administration has acknowledged secretly seizing portions of two months of phone records from The Associated Press and reading the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in separate investigations about the publication of government secrets.

The president says the government has to strike the right balance between security and an open society. He says Holder will meet with representatives of media organizations and report back to him by July 12.

Obama cites need to support emerging democracies

President Barack Obama says supporting transitions to democracy in unstable regions like the Middle East will remain a key part of his strategy for fighting terrorism.

In a speech at the National Defense University, the president said Thursday that the peaceful realization of individual aspirations in countries like Libya, Tunisia and Egypt will serve as a "rebuke" to violent extremists.

He cited as an example the need to support those in Syria who are fighting to overthrow the government. He cautioned, however, that ending tyranny in Syria must not give way to "the tyranny of terrorism."

Obama said foreign aid is a key to supporting transitions to democracy and that this U.S. assistance should not be viewed as charity. He said it is fundamental to American national security.

Anti-war protester shouts at Obama during speech

President Barack Obama was interrupted three times by a woman who shouted about drones and detainees in Cuba as he delivered a speech on national security.

The woman was identified as Medea Benjamin from the anti-war group Code Pink. Benjamin yelled from behind a bank of cameras before she was removed from the hall at National Defense University in Washington.

Obama said at one point he was willing to "cut the young lady some slack" because the issues he was addressing are worth being passionate about.

Benjamin shouted, quote, "86 were cleared already. Release them today!"

That appears to be a reference to detainees who remain in Cuba despite being cleared for transfer from the facility.

Obama nominates Latina to federal personnel agency

President Barack Obama says he will nominate Katherine Archuleta, a former top campaign aide, as director of the Office of Personnel Management. Archuleta would be the first Hispanic to direct the agency, which oversees and sets policies for the federal government's civil service workforce.

Archuleta was national political director for Obama's presidential campaign in 2011 and 2012. If confirmed by the Senate she will replace acting director Elaine Kaplan. The previous director, John Berry, stepped down last month when his four-year term expired.

Before her stint on Obama's campaign, Archuleta was chief of staff at the Department of Labor and before that was a senior adviser for the city and county of Denver. She was executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation from 2002 to 2005.

Full text of Obama's speech

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Bake cookies for a cause

Bake cookies for a cause

Get 23 scrumptious recipes in our "Quintessential Cookies" e-book. One dollar of your $3.95 purchase goes to Fund For The Needy.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►