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Obama Stands By Drone Strikes on U.S. Citizens, But Not on U.S. Soil, Looking into More Oversight


In a speech before the National Defense Univesity in Washington, D.C., this afternoon, President Obama justified the use of drones on Americans citizens, but explained that there is a “high threshold that we have set for taking lethal action.”

The president outlined that in the case of Anwar Awlaki, an American citizen killed in Yemen, he informed the Department of Justice and briefed Congress before striking. Because Awlaki had “waged war” against the United States, Obama explained, “his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a SWAT team.”

He also reiterated that he does not believe it is legal to deploy armed drones within the U.S. nor that they can be used against any citizen without “due process.” He explained that his administration would look into extending oversight on the issue, but generally rejected the current proposals, saying they “pose difficulties in practice.”


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