Did the president hit delete on his national security stump speech?
October 17th, 2012
08:50 PM ET

Did the president hit delete on his national security stump speech?

By Dan Lothian, reporting from Athens Ohio

A standard line in the president's stump speech that touts his administration's efforts to target al Qaeda has been missing from recent stops, in the wake of the Libya terror attacks.

"I said we'd refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11, and today al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead," the president has said.

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White House: Obama's been forceful on Syria
February 15th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

White House: Obama's been forceful on Syria

By Dan Lothian

President Obama has not publicly condemned Syria in the way that he applied pressure on Egypt and Libya, but the White House dismisses criticism that the U.S. resolve in Syria is any less forceful.

“We continue to work with all friends of the Syrian people to mount pressure on Assad to get him to step aside and allow a peaceful political transition to go forward immediately,’ NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor told CNN.

But that hasn’t happened yet even though the Obama administration seems convinced that the writing is on the wall for President. Bashar Assad.

“It’s clear Assad is on his way out. His single-minded brutality has made the end of his rule of Syria inevitable,” Vietor said.

Read Dan's reporting on the 1600 Report

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Filed under: Egypt • Libya • Obama • Syria
January 31st, 2012
12:30 PM ET

Obama drone admission not "a slip-up"

By Dan Lothian

A senior administration official is denying to CNN that President Obama made a mistake in publicly revealing what had been classified information about U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.

Asked whether it was a mistake or part of some larger strategy, the official said the president’s on the record admission on drones during a Google + video chat Monday, was “neither a slip up or a secret message to the Pakistanis”

Read more of Dan's reporting on CNN's 1600 Report

Battle still looms for Libya after Gadhafi
US Asst Secy of State Jeffrey Feltman meets with Libyan NTC Chmn Mustafa Abdul Jalil Photo By: AFP/Getty Images
August 23rd, 2011
06:56 PM ET

Battle still looms for Libya after Gadhafi

As what might be the final battle rages in Libya, another is looming: the political battle to create a functioning democracy.

As Libyan rebels try to consolidate their military gains in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council in Benghazi is trying to activate plans for a political transition.

What role the United States will play in Libya's future isn't yet clear, but most believe it will be a major partner in an international effort.

Getting an interim government in place in Libya as soon as possible is critical, the U.S. State Department says. That government would lead the process of writing a constitution and getting to elections, the building blocks of democracy.

But international assistance will be necessary to put the other blocks in place.


U.S. officials fear last-minute Gadhafi reprisals in Libya
Anti-Gadhafi forces occupy the heart of Tripoli, Libya Photo By : CNN
August 22nd, 2011
11:15 AM ET

U.S. officials fear last-minute Gadhafi reprisals in Libya

BY CNN Wire Staff

Top U.S. officials closely monitored the apparent collapse of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government Monday, expressing concern that forces loyal to the longtime strongman might launch a last-ditch offensive against that country's civilian population.

"There is reason to believe (Gadhafi) remains in Libya" and may still be able "to issue orders" to his troops through a limited communications network, a U.S. official told CNN.

NATO authorities expressed a similar concern.

"If there is a last-ditch effort we want to protect civilians," a senior NATO official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of sensitive intelligence matters.