Hey liberals, progressives and all those on the left. This is happening under your guy. Where are all you foaming-mouth liberals at now when your guy is approving things Bush never approved? Anyone remember how they ranted about Bush for simply listening to phone conversations between terrorists and their associates?
Attorney General Eric Holder told Americans that a President does not have to seek judicial approval when using targeted assassinations against U.S. citizens. Yet this is the same Attorney General who is upset about the NYPD conducting surveillance on Muslims.
FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday said he would have to go back and check with the Department of Justice whether Attorney General Eric Holder’s “three criteria” for the targeted killing of Americans also applied to Americans inside the U.S.
Pressed by House lawmakers about a recent speech in which Holder described the legal justification for assassination, Mueller, who was attending a hearing on his agency’s budget, did not say without qualification that the three criteria could not be applied inside the U.S.
“I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not,” Mueller said when asked by Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., about a distinction between domestic and foreign targeting
Yoder followed up asking whether “from a historical perspective,” the federal government has “the ability to kill a U.S. citizen on United States soil or just overseas.”
“I’m going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice,” Mueller replied.
Indeed, Holder’s Monday speech at Northwestern University seemed to leave the door open. While Holder speaks of Americans who lead al Qaeda overseas, the implications of the speech seem broad.
“First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; second, capture is not feasible; and third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles,” Holder said.
Holder said the feasibility of capturing a U.S. citizen terrorist is “fact-specific and potentially time-sensitive.”
“Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a United States citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack. In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force,” he said.
Three Americans were killed last year when lethal force was used against American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki is credited with helping plot the foiled Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and inspiring the Fort Hood shooting. The two others killed — his son and a cohort who published his online terror magazine “Inspire” — were considered by the U.S. to be collateral damage.