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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More