In response to Rand Paul Holder refuses to rule out U.S. drone strikes, assassinations of citizens

Revealed: Holder Says President Could Authorize Military Drone Strikes Inside U.S. in Emergency

Billy Hallowell
The Blaze

This morning, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Glenn Beck’s radio team that he had some new information about the U.S. government’s drone program — information that some individuals might find troubling. Later in the day, TheBlaze obtained letters that were sent to the senator by Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan.

It is select contents in Holder’s letter that citizens and political experts, alike, might find most problematic. After Paul sent an inquiry to learn more about the government’s drone program and to ask 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,” he received a response that is sure to be scrutinized.

The senator’s inquiry was certainly specific, however the government’s response was not so concise — or at least not pointed enough to put critics like Paul at ease…

…“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront,” the letter continues. “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.”…

…In a separate letter dated March 5, 2013, Brennan responded to Paul’s request for the same information, taking a more conclusive stance — one that affirmed that the CIA would not have the power to conduct attacks on American soil.

In his note, Brennan wrote that the Justice Department would respond to legal questions surrounding the president’s authority, but he made it clear that the agency he has been nominated to lead does not have the authority to conduct these drone attacks (the Senate Intelligence Committee voted this afternoon to approve Brennan’s nomination)…

…In the past, Brennan has been a staunch defender of drone strikes, as highlighted earlier today by TheBlaze. While he noted that they are used only as a “last resort,” he also said during his confirmation hearing that he had no qualms with the administration’s decision to use the tactic against U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both of these men, killed in Yemen in Sept. 2011, were U.S. citizens…

Read the entire article, which includes the two letters, at The Blaze. Also at the site a link to listen to Sean Hannity’s radio interview with Senator Paul this afternoon.

Related: FAA investigates report of drone near JFK Airport

Also at The Blaze, Senator: White House Providing Us Memos to Justify Drone Use


Update: Holder: Only ‘extraordinary circumstance’ would allow US drone strikes

Update 2: Eric Holder: Yes, Your Government Can Drone You to Death on U.S. Soil (UPDATED) – Hit & Run : Reason

Update 3: Rand Paul: Enormous Amount Of Hypocrisy Coming From Obama And His Administration – Hannity 3/5/2013

H/T Sen. Rand Paul who wrote, “An hour ago on Hannity, I discussed Eric Holder’s assertion that the President has the power to assassinate American citizens without trial.”

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