Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) came under fire recently when he expressed concern about the American government possibly using drone strikes on U.S. soil. To date the Obama Administration has (sort of) maintained that it only utilizes the practice of targeted, morally questionable killings on foreign targets who cannot legally be brought to justice. Sen. Paul was accused of attempting to muddy the water.
However, on Tuesday, in a letter to Sen. Paul, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that drone strikes within the United States were in fact a possibility.
“As members of this administration have previously indicated, the US government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so,” Holder wrote (by way of Raw Story). “As a policy matter moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat.
“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront.
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“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. For example, the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances like a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.”
Sen. Paul wasted no time issuing a response to the letter.
“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,” he wrote.