First Read Flash: ‘War on terror’ redefined

Updated
US President Barack Obama speaks about his administration's drone and counterterrorism policies, as well as the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, at the...
US President Barack Obama speaks about his administration's drone and counterterrorism policies, as well as the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, at the...
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

“War on terror” redefined. “President Obama said Thursday that the United States has reached a ‘crossroads’ in its fight against terrorism and that it is time to redefine and recalibrate a war that eventually will end,” the Washington Post reports. “Far from repudiating the controversial use of drones against terrorist targets, Obama defended the tactic as effective, legal and life-saving. But he acknowledged that threat levels have fallen to levels not seen since before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, requiring new criteria for the use of lethal force.”

Boy Scout ban lifted. On Thursday the Boy Scouts of America “voted to lift its ban on openly gay children,” msnbc reports, but “the new policy, which passed with more than 60% of the vote, still excludes openly gay adults from participation.”


Lerner on leave. Lois Lerner, the embattled head of the IRS division that targeted conservative groups, has been placed on administrative leave, NBC News reports. Lerner faced even more criticism from both parties after she invoked her Fifth Amendment right on Wednesday in refusing to testify before Congress, though in her opening statement she asserted her innocence, which some GOP members now say means she waived her rights and say she can be compelled to testify again. The IRS has selected Ken Corbin as acting director during Lerner’s absence.

Bonner out at end of summer. Former House Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) will resign August 15 to take a newly created job as vice chancellor of government relations and economic development at the University of Alabama system, he announced Thursday. Bonner’s resignation will likely set up a competitive and crowded Republican primary to replace him, but the seat should easily stay in GOP hands in this Mobile district that gave Mitt Romney 62% last fall. There’s more on the race and possible names to replace Bonner on NBCnews.com.

First Read Flash: 'War on terror' redefined

Updated