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.
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    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.

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    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.

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