WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS DRONE ATTACKS

Fox News on May 29, 2012, reported that the White House responded to criticism of the Obama administration’s use of drone attacks saying President Obama will do what is necessary to protect Americans from harm. Excerpts below:

“President Obama made clear from the start to his advisers and to the world that we were going to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the American people from harm, and particularly from a terrorist attack,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

There were turning points early in Obama’s term for what is considered an unprecedented and aggressive approach by a president toward dismantling Al Qaeda. Reportedly weighing on the administration’s deliberations were a strike in Yemen that killed civilians and an attempted Christmas 2009 attack on a U.S.-bound jet.

Deliberations also reportedly turned to the legal justification for carrying out the plans, including the fatal 2011 attack on American-born cleric and Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.

Republicans and other critics say Obama has chosen to kill suspected terrorists rather than capture them, an approach they say was necessitated by his failure to keep a campaign promise to craft a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.

“Nearly three and a half years after announcing his intention to close Guantanamo prison, President Obama still hasn’t offered a plan to deal with the dangerous terrorists it holds,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the 29th.

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