President Pledges Transparency On Drone Strikes | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

President Pledges Transparency On Drone Strikes

In an apparent reference to U.S. drone strikes, President Obama in his State of the Union speech defended the administration's continued use of "direct action" against terrorists and promised to work with Congress to ensure such targeting is lawful and transparent.

The president said that "where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans."

The use of drones to kill suspected terrorists in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia is an issue that has resurfaced amid confirmation hearings for John Brennan to become the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the release of a White House memo outlining the legal rationale for the program. Brennan played a key role in guiding the use of drone strikes during Obama's first term.

But many experts question the legality of such strikes, especially when they are carried out against U.S. citizens, as in the case of the September 2011 killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American living in Yemen who was allegedly a senior al-Qaida figure.

The president on Tuesday sought to reassure Congress and the public that as such programs are conducted, "we must enlist our values in the fight."

"That is why my administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations," Obama said.

"Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts," the president said. "I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we're doing things the right way. So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Wintry Weather, An Especially Cold And Snowy Tale

This week we celebrated not only Christmas, but also the solstice — the shortest day of the year. In honor of this wintry weather, author Edward Carey recommends his favorite winter fairy tale.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #MuslimApologies Grew Out Of Both Anger And Whimsy

Maha Hilal helped launch #MuslimApologies partly as a rebuttal to the more earnest hashtag, #NotInOurName. She tells Audie Cornish how it reflects a divisive conversation in the Muslim community.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.