News / USA

US Defends Rationale for Targeted Killing of Suspected American Terrorists

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, February 5, 2013. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, February 5, 2013.
x
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, February 5, 2013.
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, February 5, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is defending the controversial policy of assassinating U.S. citizens abroad suspected of plotting terrorism as a way to keep the American people safe.
 
Holder was forced to speak Tuesday after an unclassified Justice Department memo spelling out the policy was leaked. 
 
Holder said Congress gave the government permission to take action against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups all over the world.  He said the Obama administration's primary concern is protecting Americans in a way that meets federal laws.
 
"Our primary concern is to keep the American people safe, but to do so in a way that is consistent with our laws and consistent with our values.  We have, as a basis for action that we take, a congressional statute that allows us to operate against al-Qaida and associated entities, not only in Pakistan or not only in Afghanistan, but in other parts of the world," said Holder. 
 
The White House has defended the targeted killing of terror suspects by drones since two U.S. citizens were assassinated in Yemen in 2011.
 
Administration officials have justified the attacks when they say a terrorist strike was imminent.
 
"We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing, actual threats to stop plots, prevent future attacks and - again - save American lives.  These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. 
 
But the leaked memo says a citizen may also be targeted for death for being part of an ongoing terror plot.  It also says killing may be justified when officials conclude that capturing a suspect is not possible. 
 
Legal experts say they are concerned that the broader guidelines may lead to cases of mistaken identity.  Democratic Congressman Jim Moran says the policy may be a serious threat to American civil liberties. 
 
Eleven U.S. senators are asking the Obama administration to show them all the legal opinions that allow it to target U.S. citizens for assassination.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
February 06, 2013 3:17 AM
if jf kennedy assasin came from a different state far from the one he killed kennedy in,then such a man can even travel abroad when the president is on tour and do such a thing there...its better if the presidents bodyguard does his/her work when outside the home country.

PRESIDENT


by: Gregory Allen Leeds from: Lewes, Delaware, USA
February 05, 2013 1:32 PM
The U.S Justice Department had also codified the use of "enhanced interogation" to CIA and allowed Charles Talylor"s son to tried under the 1994 statute that call's for prosecution of U.S. citizens that leave and commit act's of cohersion oversea's. It will not work like that. Justice and CIA were found to conspire together to keep evidence that Edward P. Wilson was also working in sanction in Libya. He passed recently after 20+ years in federal Prison. This will end.


by: Mikael Abdul-Bari
February 05, 2013 12:22 PM
The use of drone warfare is very ironic because Obama is married to a Black American woman and U.S. Attorney General Holder is a Black American. Extrajudicial murders using drones (be the victims U.S. citizens or not) is the same as lynching. Blacks in America should be outraged at this issue because of the dark, vile history of lynching in this country. This should prove to all Black Americans that Obama is not a Black American, he is truly an African-American. His father was from Kenya, thusly Obama does not have the historic memory of slavery nor have the sensibilities that true Black Americans. Obama is simply a puppet stooge of the military-industrial complex that really runs this country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid