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TODAY   |  May 24, 2013

Obama reveals clearer guidelines for drone strikes

In a counterterrorism speech on Thursday, President Obama focused on narrowrt guidelines for deadly drone strikes, arguing they are legal and effective, and announced an end to the ban on transferring detainees from Guantanamo back to Yemen. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> meantime president obama is said to address the u.s. naval academy 's graduation today and expected to address some of the same things of national security we heard him talking about yesterday. let's get to peter alexander with more. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning to you. this was a significant speech. the president is shifting his case, shifting his case away from what he described as a boundless global war on terror pushing instead for less secretive and really more restrained counterterrorism policy.

>> this war, like all wars, must end.

>> reporter: the president's focus, two key issues revealing more guidelines for deadly drone strikes arguing they're legal, effective and will continue, while raising the standard for their use.

>> before any strike is taken there must be near certainty no civilians will be killed or injured, the highest standard we can set.

>> reporter: and on the prison camp in guantanamo bay a new pledge to shut it down, transferring detainees back to yemen and calling for some to be moved to prisons on american soil and tried in civilian courts.

>> the decisions that we are making now will define the type of nation and world that we leave to our children.

>> reporter: many republicans remain dissatisfied.

>> what would the united states do lead, l-e-a-d. the president does not lead.

>> reporter: at one time the president was interrupted and left stevenless by an anti-war activist.

>> you are commander in chief. you can close guantanamo today. can you take the drones out of the hands of the cia? i love my country. i love the rule of law.

>> these are tough issues, and the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong.

>> reporter: definitely not something you see every day. also this morning savannah we learned how that heckler got into an invite only event. university officials say she was pretending to be a member of the press.

>> peter alexander at the white