News Release

Holder: Kill Jason Bourne

The Chicago Tribune reports: “Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. defended the U.S. right to target and kill American citizens overseas in the war on terror … Holder did not take questions from reporters after his remarks, and while he originally was going to answer questions from the law school audience, on Monday morning he abruptly cancelled that plan.”

GLENN GREENWALD, GGreenwald at salon.com
Available for limited number of interviews, Greenwald’s latest book is With Liberty and Justice for Some. He just wrote the piece “Attorney General Holder Defends Execution Without Charges,” which states: “In a speech at Northwestern University yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder provided the most detailed explanation yet for why the Obama administration believes it has the authority to secretly target U.S. citizens for execution by the CIA without even charging them with a crime, notifying them of the accusations, or affording them an opportunity to respond, instead condemning them to death without a shred of transparency or judicial oversight. The administration continues to conceal the legal memorandum it obtained to justify these killings, and, as The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage noted, Holder’s ‘speech contained no footnotes or specific legal citations, and it fell far short of the level of detail contained in the Office of Legal Counsel memo.’ …

“When Obama officials (like Bush officials before them) refer to someone ‘who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces,’ what they mean is this: someone the President has accused and then decreed in secret to be a Terrorist without ever proving it with evidence.”

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at gmail.com
Wheeler blogs at EmptyWheel.net — she just wrote several pieces on Holder’s speech including “Holder’s Unproven Claims about Anwar al-Awlaki the AQAP Leader,” which states: “If the case that Awlaki [who was assassinated by the U.S. government last September in Yemen] was an imminent threat rests on his leadership role, but we don’t really have any proof of that fact (or, worse, our double agent undermined it after OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] had already signed off on the killing), then the entire argument collapses.

“Moreover, if [the Department of Justice] doesn’t have that evidence (they might, but they certainly haven’t shown it), then consider how much more awful this argument is. It’s bad enough that the Attorney General just argued that due process does not equal judicial due process. But he argued it by claiming that Awlaki was someone they haven’t attempted to prove he was.” See: http://www.emptywheel.net/tag/eric-holder

Wheeler wrote the book: Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy.

Holder’s speech