At Chicago Speech, Holder Will Detail Rationale for Assassinating Americans Without Charges

Rationale for Killings Won't Be Made Public Until After Speech

US Attorney General Eric Holder is prepared to deliver a major policy speech at Northwestern University on Monday afternoon, explaining for the first time his Justice Department’s rationale related to the President’s putative power to order the assassination of American citizens without judicial oversight.

The explanation has long been speculated at by legal experts and civil rights activists, as the Obama Administration is known to have a “kill list” and has assassinated multiple American citizens inside Yemen without providing any charges against them beforehand.

Exactly what the explanation will be, however, will remain a secret for now, as officials who confirmed the planned speech refused to provide any details of what he would say, beyond some vague appeal to “self defense” by the state, until after the speech is made.

Administration officials have rarely discussed their assassinations publicly, though Pentagon General Council Jeh Johnson did argue last month that there was no court in existence that could challenge the assassinations once the president decided to kill them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of