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Holder: U.S. Can Kill Citizens in Overseas Terror Groups

According to Attorney General Eric Holder, it is within the government’s rights to kill American citizens implicated in anti-U.S. terrorist plots hatched abroad. Along with general human rights concerns, this raises some issues vis-à-vis the Constitution and the Fifth Amendment, but Holder was ready with his interpretations in a talk Monday. –KA

U.S. News on MSNBC:

“In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out, and we will not,” he said in remarks prepared for a speech at Northwestern University’s law school in Chicago.

An American-born Islamic cleric, Anwar al Awlaki, was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in late September. Some civil liberties groups condemned the attack. Others, including members of Congress, called for a more complete explanation of how such a targeted killing of an American civilian was consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

The Fifth Amendment provides that no one can be “deprived of life” without due process of law. But that due process, Holder said, doesn’t necessarily come from a court.

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