Skip to comments.Sen. Paul declares 'victory' after Holder offers assurance on drones
Posted on 03/07/2013 12:31:07 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Sen. Rand Paul declared "victory" Thursday after Attorney General Eric Holder assured him that the president cannot use a drone to kill a non-combatant American on U.S. soil -- an assurance Paul had sought during his 13-hour filibuster the day before.
"Hooray!" Paul responded, when read the letter for the first time during an interview with Fox News. "For 13 hours yesterday, we asked him that question, so there is a result and a victory. Under duress and under public humiliation, the White House will respond and do the right thing."
During his dramatic filibuster, which delayed a vote on CIA director nominee John Brennan, Paul had demanded the administration clarify the government's authority to kill on U.S. soil. The filibuster ended early Thursday morning.
But on Thursday afternoon, Holder sent a terse letter to Paul that said: "It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no."
In response, Paul said Thursday that "we're proud to announce that the president is not going to kill unarmed Americans on American soil." He later took to the floor to promote the attorney general's response, before the Senate moved to vote on Brennan.
Though Paul's 13-hour stand drew praise from all sides of the political spectrum, the senator did take heat Thursday from some in his own party who claimed he stirred unnecessary fear about the use of drones.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
My opinion is Hell yes. Even if I was on that Plane. GW made the call on 9/11 after the tower attacks and I thought it was right then I would think it was right if Nero did it.
That is a world appart from Jose in Tupilo that is pissed at Nero and calls him a Muzzie loving Half Breed that should be tried for treason.
Yes, it was a victory. Thanks you Rand Paul.
But when dealing with democrats - people who wonder about the definition of 'is' is... it's best to tie down meanings. Who would trust these democrats any further than they can be thrown. Democrats need to give their assurances publicly - NOT just to blowhards that love to be flattered like Sen. John McCain.
This is too important to leave to fools.
You REALLY need to let that go.
The battle lines in the GOP have now been drawn. Let’s get ready to rumble.
And what about an American citizen who is a member of a terrorist cell actively plotting against the U.S. by planning the hijacking? Who happens to be holed up in a rural compound? Doesn't the question become isn't it preferable to save the 200, and by extension the thousands of other lives, by taking out the one through whatever means are at hand?
My point in all this is that it can't be as neatly black and white as Senator Paul would have it. Yes, we have due process and rule of law. Yes, that is the preferable course to follow. But if someone has crossed the line and is actively working against this country then stopping them from attacking us should be a priority. If we can accept the president ordering the death of hundreds of citizens through the use of a Sidewinder missile if there is no other way to prevent a greater tragedy, then why do we flinch at the idea of him ordering the death of one citizen through use of a Hellfire missile if there is no other way of stopping a greater tragedy?
What did he say?
I'm not aware of anyone who is suggesting that using a drone would be appropriate under those circumstances. Not even Holder.
Nope. That was easy. If some American is plotting to blow up other Americans and you know it, then arrest him and charge him. You don't get to just blow them up.
We suspect the day an administration starts killing Americans with drones at cafes to borrow one of Rand Pauls hypotheticals is the day impeachment proceedings begin.The Republican House could impeach til the cows come home.
There's nothing...NOTHING President Obama would do that would cause the Democrat Senate to convict him. He could bomb a city and Graham and McCain would be cheering him on.
"As Commander-in-Chief, President Obama is perfectly within his right to drop a MOAB on Wasilla. It's just a shame Governor Palin was at CPAC at the time."
Why? If it's a black and white issue then it's black and white in all circumstances.
RE: And what about an American citizen who is a member of a terrorist cell actively plotting against the U.S. by planning the hijacking?
Why is blowing him up with a hellfire missile in the USA the ONLY OPTION in the above case?
We have had foreign terrorists plotting to blow up buildings in America before and we’ve arrested them using domestic intelligence.
How many times a year to you hear about a police sniper shooting a hostage taker because they believe other people are in imminent danger? No arrest. No charges. Just a quick kill because there was no other way to prevent them from killing someone. Think of the Predator as a sniper on steroids and again, if there is no other way to prevent the taking of even more innocent lives, why not use it?
It may not be a black-and-white issue, but your scenario certainly is.
The hypothetical you described is a group of people representing an imminent threat. The decision to shoot it down would be a no-brainer, as long as all other options were considered and rejected.
It’s already happened and TPTB made exactly that decision. A missile fired from a plane is just as lethal as an unmanned drone.
Of course, the plane’s passengers took the decision out of their hands. Just like they would, IMO, if any of our enemies ever try it again.
He said it was a red herring. Holder used both the 9/11 and Pearl Harbor scenarios to deflect from Rand Paul’s real concern.
Paul responded a number of times that neither he, nor any other senator, was questioning the Executive’s authority to respond to an immediate external attack upon the United States (specifically the 9/11 and Pearl Harbor scenarios). Nor did he question the use of lethal force in response to an imminent threat (someone aiming a rocket launcher at a building, someone robbing a bank....).
His concern was the lack of a clear response from the Administration as to whether they though they had the constitutional authority to assassinate a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, without due process, even if that citizen was known to be involved in terrorist activities, but was not at the moment posing an imminent threat.
He’s been asking for a clear response to that very simple question since the end of January. And, if you saw the recent exchange between Ted Cruz and Eric Holder over this same question, you have an idea of the completely muddled, non-responsive answers he’s been receiving from the Administration.
Even Turbin Durbin came to the Senate floor last night to pose the 9/11 scenario to Rand Paul, in a desperate attempt to distract from the real issue — can the Executive Branch be arbitrary in its application of due process, or is every U.S. citizen on U.S. soil entitled to his Fifth Amendment rights, provided he is not posing an imminent threat.
But what it if is the only option? What if he is unreachable by conventional law enforcement and has to be stopped immediately to prevent a terrorist attack? I'm not saying it's the first choice. I'm not saying it's the preferred choice. But if there is no other way then why not? If they are holed up in a cave in Yemen plotting against the U.S. then why not? If they're barracaded in a compound in Pennsylvania ready to give the order that will set a terrorist bombing into action then why not? If not acting will lead to the loss of even more innocent lives then why not?
Exactly. More Holder double-speak. I'm certain they will call any US citizen who speaks out against the Gov't or refuses to comply with a firearms confiscation order a 'combatant'.
And what about using the drones for surveillance against US citizens? His statement is worthless.
Let’s take the cases you cited one by one...
RE: If they are holed up in a cave in Yemen plotting against the U.S. then why not?
I was for it. I consider that an act of war and treachery. In which case, blowing up an American Jihadist like Al Awlaki is justified ( and we did ).
RE: If they’re barracaded in a compound in Pennsylvania ready to give the order that will set a terrorist bombing into action then why not?
Now that’s a little different. If we knew he was in a compound in Pennsylvania, we could always surround the compound and wait him out.
If we knew he was going to give an order to set a terrorist bombing into action, it would be better to capture him to find out where the action or future actions are going to take place.
It would be better to capture him than to kill him.
You are talking about an *imminent* threat. Rand Paul said over and over and over again, just during the three of thirteen hours I watched, that he does not question the use of lethal force against an *imminent* threat.
Rather, Rand Paul was asking, What about a U.S. citizen, on U.S. soil, known to be involved in terrorist activities, but not at the moment posing an imminent threat? Can the Administration assassinate him?
You'd think the answer to that question would be a simple -- and an immediate -- NO! But Paul has gotten only lawyerly gobbledygook from Holder, Brennan and the WH for over one month on this simple question.
Perhaps the Administration is slow to respond clearly because they plan to expand the definition of "terrorist" to include Tea Party folks who cling hatefully to their guns, their Bibles, and their U.S. Constitution....
One thing is certain Obama and Holder would never used armed drones against their People!
So all you diverse residents be watchful of the skies!
Even though Holder said Obama would not use drones against the American People we all know FEDS LIE!
I really want to see the headlines of the first one shot down!
And the lawsuit of FEDS trespassing on an Americans soil!
Wow, conflating "plotting" with the "imminent danger" of someone holding hostages with a gun to their heads. Even in hostage situations, they attempt to talk the guy out, and you're jonesing to blow some guy up because he has a map and some plans. There is no moral difference between you and some guy proactively going out and shooting a politician because the politician is plotting to pass a law giving politicians free use of deadly force. You've ceded the high ground.