Obama Defends Use of Drones

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

President Obama outlined new policies for overseas drone strikes in a major national-security speech on Thursday. The president admitted that drones have killed American citizens overseas, but vowed that he would work more closely with aides on future uses of the weapons and that “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” Obama also promised to cut back on the number of attacks in general, but that he must weigh the risks of using drones against the alternative of more terrorist attacks. He will continue to call the shots over use of the weapons, he said, but not without first briefing Congress on every strike and working together to avoid increased oversight. He also promised to close the Guantánamo Bay military prison. Even as a woman heckled him relentlessly about hunger strikes at Guantánamo, he said her voice is “worth listening to.”