Eric Holder explains NDAA, and the Executive Branch’s newly gained authority

Credits: David Swason (


At Northwestern University, Attorney General Eric Holder explained to law students how President Obama will interprets, and enforce the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).  He also explains new powers of the Executive branch gained under the legislation.


“We must also recognize that there are instances where our government has the clear authority – and, I would argue, the responsibility – to defend the United States through the appropriate and lawful use of lethal force.”

“Now, it is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that some of the threats we face come from a small number of United States citizens who have decided to commit violent attacks against their own country… it’s clear that United States citizenship alone does not make such individuals immune from being targeted [from being excluded from the law]:

“The Supreme Court has made clear that the Due Process Clause does not impose one-size-fits-all requirements, but instead mandates procedural safeguards that depend on specific circumstances.”.


“Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen… This is simply not accurate.”

Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security.”

“The Constitution empowers the President to protect the nation from any imminent threat of violent attack.  And international law recognizes the inherent right of national self-defense.  None of this is changed by the fact that we are not in a conventional war.”

“There are people currently plotting to murder Americans, who reside in distant countries as well as within our own borders.”

“ We are at war with a stateless enemy, prone to shifting operations from country to country. …Our government has both a responsibility and a right to protect this nation and its people from such threats.”



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