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Obama: New guidelines in place for drone strikes

3 years 8 months 4 hours ago May 23, 2013 May 23, 2013 Thursday, May 23 2013 May 23, 2013 1:02 PM in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says he has signed new policy guidelines to oversee when the U.S. can use drone strikes against suspected terrorists.

Obama says clear guidelines, oversight and accountability are spelled out in "policy guidance" he signed Wednesday.

He says Thursday in a national security speech that the administration has been working for the past four years to put in place a framework that governs the use of force against terrorists.

Obama also said his administration has briefed Congress on every drone strike America has ordered. 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.

The president also said he's willing to consider additional oversight of drone strikes outside of war zones. 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.

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