December 14th, 2011
06:44 PM ET

Obama's national security holiday briefing

Ahead of the holiday’s President Obama received a national security briefing to get the latest on preparations for any eventuality.

NSC spokesmanTommy Vietorprovided the below on the record statement:

“This afternoon, the President met with his senior national security team to ensure they are doing everything possible to enhance preparedness across the government in advance of the holiday season.  The President was briefed on the latest intelligence and discussed the measures being taken to continue to keep the American people safe. The President directed his team to maintain a high level of vigilance heading into the new year.”

Topics: National Security • The News
'Welcome home,' Obama tells troops from Iraq
December 14th, 2011
06:34 PM ET

'Welcome home,' Obama tells troops from Iraq

(CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed home returning troops from Iraq, hailing their service to help a people they didn't know as an example of what makes America great.

"As your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree - welcome home. Welcome home," Obama told cheering troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

"Welcome home," he repeated again, to enthusiastic applause. "Welcome home."

The U.S. military mission that began in 2003 is ending this month, and Obama used the speech to mark the fulfillment of a campaign pledge he made in 2008 to end the war.

Noting the almost 4,500 Americans killed and more than 30,000 injured, Obama spoke of the heavy sacrifice and hard work in the Iraq mission.

"Because of you - because you sacrificed so much for a people that you had never met, Iraqis have a chance to forge their own destiny," Obama said. "That's part of what makes us special as Americans. Unlike the empires of old, we did so not for territory or for resources. We do it because it's right.

"There can be no fuller expression of America's support for self-determination than our leaving Iraq to its people. That says something about who we are."

full story

Topics: Iraq • Military • The News
White House schedule Dec 14, 2011
December 14th, 2011
08:19 AM ET

White House schedule Dec 14, 2011


President Obama and his wife Michelle will travel to Fort Bragg, NC to welcome home more then 200 troops who returned from Iraq just yesterday.  According to a White House release, “The President will speak about the enormous sacrifices and achievements of the brave Americans who served in the Iraq War, and he will speak about the extraordinary milestone of bringing the war in Iraq to an end.”

full schedule after the jump


Topics: Daily Schedule