Did Harold Koh Just Defend Assassination?
Adam Serwer reads through the State Department legal adviser’s recent defense of why drone strikes outside Afghanistan are legal and observes that the rationale Harold Koh offered could be used to argue that assassinations of people like Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S. citizen-turned-extremist who has argued that Muslims have an obligation to attack America, are legal.
Attorney General Eric Holder will testify on Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a long-delayed and much-anticipated round of testimony on all matters facing the Justice Department. It’s likely to become a showdown on Holder’s positions on Justice and counterterrorism. Whether Holder will address assassinations in an open session is, of course, unclear-to-doubtful. Last week I filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the actual rationale adopted by the Obama administration to compel Holder and his colleagues to explain.