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Frosty GOP Reception for Obama's Terrorism Policy Shifts

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Obama spoke Thursday on counterterrorism, though his words did not get a warm reception from GOP members of Congress.

“I need to know what the President intends to do with those terrorist detainees who are too dangerous to release but cannot be tried; how he will ensure terrorists transferred overseas do not return to the fight; and what he will do with terrorists we will capture in the future, as well as those dangerous terrorists still held in Afghanistan?” McKeon said in a written statement.

Adam Smith of Washington, the top Democrat on McKeon’s panel, offered unqualified praise for the president’s renewed effort to close Guantánamo, saying that groups use the prison when “rallying extremists to its cause.”

Drone Strike Options

Referring to congressional proposals for oversight of drone strikes, he said that creating a special court could bring that oversight but raise constitutional questions, while forming an independent oversight board within the executive branch could add layers of bureaucracy to decision-making.

“Despite these challenges,” Obama said, “I look forward to actively engaging Congress to explore these — and other — options for increased oversight.”

On Thursday, two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee — Maine independent Angus King and Florida Republican Marco Rubio — introduced legislation that would require an independent analysis if the government is considering whether it can legally use lethal force against a U.S. citizen, with notifications provided to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the inspector general for the intelligence community and congressional Intelligence panels.

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