Yes, America, Obama doesn’t torture, but he sure could kill you.
President Barack Obama has the legal authority to unleash deadly force—such as drone strikes—against Americans on U.S. soil without first putting them on trial, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter released Tuesday.
But Holder, writing to Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, underlined that Obama “has no intention” of targeting his fellow citizens with unmanned aerial vehicles and would do so only if facing “an extraordinary circumstance.”
Paul had asked the Obama administration on Feb. 20 whether the president “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil and without trial.” On Tuesday, he denounced Holder’s response as “frightening” and “an affront to the Constitutional due process rights of all Americans.”
AG Holder Asserts Authority to Conduct Drone Strikes on U.S. Citizens
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Rand Paul received two pieces of correspondence regarding the legality and constitutionality of the U.S. government using lethal force, including drone strikes, on Americans and in U.S. territory. Sen. Paul sent three inquires on the matter to President Obama’s nominee to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan (HERE, HERE and HERE). He finally received responses from both Mr. Brennan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on one item of inquiry.
Attorney General Holder stated in a letter to Sen. Paul dated March 4, 2013: “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”
“The U.S. Attorney General’s refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening – it is an affront the Constitutional due process rights of all Americans,” Sen. Paul said.
Sen. Paul also received a letter in response from Mr. Brennan, clarifying the CIA does not have the power to authorize such operations. Notably missing from Mr. Brennan’s response are answers to the myriad other questions Sen. Paul posed to him in previous correspondence.
Sen. Rand Paul jumps on AG Holder for not ruling out the possibility of the US govt ever using drones to strike Am citizens and on Am soil..
— Kara Rowland (@kararowland) March 5, 2013
Senate Intel Committee voted 12-3 to confirm John Brennan as CIA director after White House promises to reveal more about killer drones.
— Ken Bazinet (@bazmaniandevil) March 5, 2013
And Eric Holder is evil. I warned ya’ll ow.ly/iprc0
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) March 5, 2013
The people who support Obama’s right to use drones against American citizens are the same folks who were pissed at Bush for wiretapping.
— teh haggard (@jasonhaggard) March 5, 2013
- Eric Holder: Yes, Your Government Can Drone You to Death on U.S. Soil (UPDATED) (reason.com)
- Yes, the president can kill Americans on U.S. soil (salon.com)