Holder: Drone strike against Americans in the U.S. possible
March 5th, 2013
04:46 PM ET

Holder: Drone strike against Americans in the U.S. possible

Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday stopped short of entirely ruling out a drone strike against an American citizen on U.S. soil—without trial.

Holder’s comment came in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul. Paul had sent a letter to President Obama’s CIA director nominee John Brennan asking for the administration’s views on the president’s power to authorize lethal force.

In the letter, Holder said “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, Brennan told Paul that the CIA has no such authority.

The nomination passed its first hurdle Tuesday with the Senate intelligence committee voting to approve the nomination in a 12-3 vote. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said he voted against the nomination because of inconsistencies in Brennan's testimony.

Earlier in the day, the White House agreed to provide legal documents written by Justice Department officials explaining the legal rationale for  targeting Americans overseas who are involved in terror-related activities that threatened America or American interests.

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Filed under: CIA • Congress • Intelligence • Justice Department
soundoff (607 Responses)
  1. NYC Fitness Event

    They will never be able to have drone strikes in the United states. To risky, I think the loss of life would be to great. I think the money
    should be spent on intelligence and bolstering the local police forces.

    February 11, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Reply
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    April 30, 2013 at 2:08 am | Reply
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    I think your blog is amazing. You write about very interesting things. Thanks for all the tips and information.

    March 14, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
  5. Navyvet8192

    Drones are a tool of the US Military, or have been anyway. There are laws that preclude the US from using the Armed Forces against it's own citizens, specifically Posse Comitatus: A United States federal law prohibiting members of the military from exercising powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property. Even if the member of the military is sitting in a chair somewhere in the desert. Now Homeland Security Drones,... Well that's a bird of a different feather. For every law, there is a room full of lawyers thinking of ways to get around it. Makes me sick, absolutely sick.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  6. Truth

    Now that they know this, prepare the zombies!

    March 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  7. the Mayor of Medinah

    If I was Ted Nugent I would be worried

    March 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  8. StanCalif

    Drones are already in use over US soil! The Dept. of Homeland Security is now patrolling our border with Mexico with drones. With unlimited money to spend, this monster agency can do whatever they please. No one in Congress ever questions what they do. If they decide to arm these drones and start kiling people, who cares!
    Now, sheriff departments are puttng in requests to buy drones. Is this a good idea?

    March 8, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Truth

      No. Hold Obama accountable.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Truth

      When an American dies, everyone will be like Rand Paul was right.. It's sad that it takes shocks to the system to get us back to normality.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Larry Winkler

      Of course, Congress knows, at least officially. Congress budgeted the money. They were constantly accusing Obama of failing to stem illegal immigration. That was not true however. For Congress or people like you to say "I didn't know" may be correct in fact, but like Congress, you should have know. It's been reported in the press on numerous occasions, and the use of drones was covered in the newspapers during the Bush years, where here the Democrats were incensed.

      All the handwringing is a ruse. Whoever the "theys" are, they conveniently never know something is going on until they are surprised by it, even though they "knew" it 8 to 10 years ago. Surprise!

      March 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Reply
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