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Reaction to Obama's security speech mixed

WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) -- Reaction to U.S. President Barack Obama's national security speech Thursday was mixed, with some critics backing him and others calling him misguided.

"We welcome President Obama's stated commitment to the Constitution, the rule of law and the unequivocal rejection of torture," American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero said.

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"But unlike the president, we believe that continuing with the failed military commissions and creating a new system of indefinite detention without charge is inconsistent with the values that he expressed so eloquently at the National Archives."

"Revising the military commissions is a mistake," Amnesty International Executive Director Larry Cox said. "It is a system so broken, so discredited, that it cannot be saved by any amount of administrative or legislative duct tape."

He added that Obama "said the right words about returning to the rule of law and reclaiming America's moral authority. Now he needs to ensure his actions reflect American values and the rule of law."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Obama had "proved again today that being honest with the American people about the threats we face, without resorting to hyperbole and fear mongering, is how responsible leaders conduct themselves in dangerous and difficult times."

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House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he was disappointed Obama "dismissed the concerns of the American people and a strong bipartisan majority in Congress about releasing these terrorists or importing them into our local communities."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech minutes after Obama concluded his address that the president "found that it's easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo, but it's tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interests of justice and America's national security."

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