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Huffington Post Transcript as Delivered: Obama Drone Speech Delivered At National Defense University (FULL TRANSCRIPT)
I agree with your comments. I watched the speech in which he laid out with clarity the arguments and logic, pro and con, and the decisions on the issues that have been in the forefront of the debate on drones, closing Gitmo, and yes, repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force. We've discussed the issue of drones in depth in other threads, but I thought that his recognition of the positives and negatives of the drone program were articulated well. A few extracts:
"And yet as our fight enters a new phase, America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power – or risk abusing it. That’s why, over the last four years, my Administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists – insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that I signed yesterday.
"...it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America – and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot – 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."
Going forward, Obama will be involving Congress in options for more oversight. This will be especially needed if we ever have another Republican Presidential administration like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld...