AG Holder defended US targeted killings policy

On March 5, 2012, US Attorney General Eric Holder defended the Obama administration's policy of targeted killings of US citizens abroad who are members of al Qaeda. In his speech at Northwestern University School of Law, Holder stressed that the procedural requirements of Due Process Clause change when "national security operations are at stake." Although Holder stated these circumstances allow the president to order attacks on American alleged al Qaeda operatives abroad without judicial process, he emphasized that the power was limited. Targeted killings are limited to cases in which the operative poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the US, the operative's capture is infeasible and the US acts in accordance with the laws of war.

Learn more about targeted kilings from the JURIST news archive.

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