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
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  42. StanCalif

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    Now, sheriff departments are puttng in requests to buy drones. Is this a good idea?

    March 8, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
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      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
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      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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  46. Pete

    This drone deal is just another republican twist on something..Drones would mostly be in recon missions from afar not the bombing type drones used overseas..Remember too that police today use helicopters which are used to do recon missions and shoot supposidly criminals from the sky,any difference between police operated helicopters,drones because only one is human by nature and one is operated by human not much difference is there.And remember the troops saved by these drones overseas and with drones doing recon its obviously safer then ground troops doing recon isn't it!!Quit letting the likes of Rand Paul and others from the truth that drones would be advantagous in curtailing criminals stateside and safer all around than sending police into dangrous situations isn't it!Plus don't they use robots to dismantle,defuse bombs,explosives and where were republicans when these robots came out years ago now saving thousands of policemens lives,getting kickbacks from the robots manufacture lobbyists right!!!

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  49. dalene44

    Hope I'm not walking behind, or in a store with or have my kids playing outside when they start firing at their targets. I thought Obama's Indefinite detention without trial for Americans was creepy enough but drone attacks takes it to a new level.

    March 7, 2013 at 3:04 am | Reply
  50. Kyle

    I think he's correct in saying that. Imagine how many lives could be saved if there were drones near the twin towers & pentagon on 9/11. What do you think the jets scrambled to NY were sent to do?

    March 7, 2013 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Anton

      Yeah really. If we had prevented 9/11, then the U.S. would never have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and caused the deaths of over 100,000 civilians. I'd have called that a victory. 😛

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    • Thepacific

      Dick Cheney would have sabotaged the drone operation on 9/11. Those war hawks would never let things end smoothly like that. They like wars. For wars give them the ocean of opportunity to advance their capital business venture and of course bolder their power. The state has no rights to just shoot and kill without proper legal procedures.

      March 7, 2013 at 7:59 am | Reply
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    Kudos to Senator Rand Paul for standing up to Tyranny, without the rule of law we are no longer a republic nor a free society. I would like to see the traitor Obama and his lackeys and minions impeached.

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    I have no issue with drones being used on American citizen on U.S. soil, but I can't take it any more drones used in Pakistan on my brothers and sisters, and uncles.

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  55. Pete

    @Filibusterer Rand Paul, he got his wish a dandy letter signed by his hero Eric Holder..Now he's being chastised publicly by the likes of McCain,Graham and other republican hypocrites for doing such an ignorent stunt that only gardered a one word answer"NO".Now Rand go home and rinse your mouth out, you've said enough!!

    March 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
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