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.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig