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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs