90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Case For Targeted Killing

Attorney General Eric Holder makes the Obama case for targeted killing. A top Bush lawyer and the head of the ACLU debate it with us.

A drone firing a Hellfire missile. (U.S. Air Force)

A drone firing a Hellfire missile. (U.S. Air Force)

President George W. Bush took a lot of heat for a lot of the extraordinary measures he ordered after 9.11 in what was dubbed the global war on terror.  A lot of that heat came from then-Senator Barack Obama.

Now Barack Obama is president, and key, controversial elements of Bush’s anti-terror strategy go on.  At the top of the list:  targeted killing, assassination – even of American citizens.  Last week Attorney General Eric Holder gave his defense.

This hour, On Point:  Anthony Romero, national head of the ACLU, and Bush-era justice official Jack Goldsmith debate Obama-era justice on terror.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jack Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard Law School, he served in the Bush administration as United States Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. He’s the author of Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

From Tom’s Reading List

Salon “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.

Huffington Post “Ten years have passed since the U.S. government opened the military detention facility at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, symbolizing an energetic effort to round up suspected terrorists. Perhaps a decade might have been long enough for the constitutional issues over war-on-terrorism policies to get settled. That hasn’t happened, though.”

Washington Post “The U.S. government has the right to order the killing of American citizens overseas if they are senior al-Qaeda leaders who pose an imminent terrorist threat and cannot reasonably be captured, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday.”

The New York Times “President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability. That, regrettably, was the most lasting impression from a major address on national security delivered last week by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. ”

Excerpt: Power And Constraint

[Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.]

Video: Holder Talks Targeted Killings

Attorney General Eric Holder discusses national security issues in a speech at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 22, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. (AP)

A weak ruble and a turbulent economy. We look at Putin’s Russia and what its economic free fall means.

Dec 22, 2014
A sample of some of the costumes on display at the fall 2014 "Dance & Fashion" exhibition at New York City's Museum at FIT. (AP)

Couture fashion exhibits are drawing record crowds at museums. We’ll look at the beauty and the art behind the glitz.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

 
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment