EARLIER THIS month at Northwestern University, Eric Holder gave an extraordinary speech — perhaps the most extraordinary ever from a sitting attorney general. The gist of his message was this: If you are a US citizen, the president of the United States can issue an order to have you killed without review or approval from any other branch of government.
No president has ever asserted such authority. This administration has already acted upon it. On Sept. 30, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born member of Al Qaeda, was targeted and killed by a drone strike in Yemen. His 16-year-old son was killed two weeks later.