Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the United States’ legal defense of using lethal force against U.S. citizens overseas if that citizen is posing a terrorist threat. Holder’s speech, delivered Monday afternoon at Northwestern University, argued in part that the U.S. Constitution’s definition of due process defends the use of lethal force, even without the written consent of the president.
Until now, no legal defense was given for the U.S. mission in Yemen which killed al-Qaeda’s leading figure Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki, who was born in the US, was the radical cleric who successfully took al-Qaeda’s message to YouTube.
Mary Ellen O'Connell, the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at Notre Dame University, discusses major human rights organizations' criticism of the Obama administration's use of drone strikes.