Attorney General Eric Holder told Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has vowed to hold the nomination of CIA director nominee John Brennan over questions about the use of drones, that it’s “possible” the administration could use strikes domestically.
Paul sent a series of three inquires to Brennan and finally got responses Monday from the nominee and Holder.
“As members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so,” Holder wrote. “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,” he continued. “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 of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.”
“Were such an emergency to arise, I would examined the particular facts and circumstances before advising the President on the scope of his authority.”
Paul seized on Holder admitting the strikes could occur.
“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,” Paul said.