After questions to the White House and John Brennan, along with a 13 hour filibuster that began yesterday just before noon, Attorney General Eric Holder finally answers the question Rand Paul continuously asked and the answer from the AG is “No.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney cited a letter from the Attorney General which confirms that the the President does not have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil.
“Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on an American soil,” said Carney, reading Holder’s letter. “The answer is ‘No.’”
Carney did however add “if the United States were under attack, there were an imminent threat,” then the president would have the authority to order military action to repel said threat.
So while Carney cited the AG’s letter, which indicates a clear “No,” he then turned to the issue of “imminent threat.” For those that watched, this was one of the issues Senator Paul brought up. So it appears that the imminent/immediate issue has not quite been resolved.
Of course, one reason to answer this way is that they can always pick people up under the 2012 NDAA and hold them indefinitely simply because they claim they are terrorists or associated with terrorists. This is a simple fact in evidence.
Additionally, the leaked memo from the White House which read, “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” now puts Eric Holder claiming something that apparently is opposed by the previous memo.
To provoke further thought on the matter, listen as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) questions Holder on the use of drones to strike Americans on U.S. soil.