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WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to outline the legal framework for the use of lethal force in targeted killings of Americans overseas in a major speech at Northwestern University law school, an Obama administration official said Sunday night.
Holder's speech Monday comes five months after the killing of U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in a drone attack.
[color=cyan]The official said the attorney general plans to say that lethal force is legal under a Sept. 18, 2001, joint congressional resolution. The Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted a week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks authorizes the use of all necessary force in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the contents of the speech haven't been released
The official said Holder also will address how the Obama administration reformed military commissions and how both the Obama and the George W. Bush administrations have successfully used civilian courts to convict and sentence terrorists. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the contents of the speech haven't been released.
[color=cyan]In recent months, the Obama administration has engaged in an internal debate about how much to reveal about the legal justification for the al-Awlaki killing.