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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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March 7, 2013 - 11:16 am

Attorney General Eric Holder today sent Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) a letter addressing his filibuster question on drones — one of many questions, at least.

“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,” Holder wrote.

And that was the entire letter.

“Senator Paul has raised questions about the president’s authority to use lethal force within the United States, which John Brennan and the attorney general have both answered. Today, Senator Paul raised an additional question, and the attorney general has answered it,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said at today’s briefing, reading the totality of Holder’s letter out loud.

“The issue here isn’t the technology. The method does not change the law. The president swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and he is bound by the law. Whether the lethal force in question is a drone strike or a gun shot, the law and the Constitution apply in the same way,” Carney said. “…You can make sort of wild hypotheticals, but that doesn’t — they don’t change the law.”

“The law is the law and the Constitution is the Constitution. And I think that’s what the attorney general was saying.”

UPDATE: “This is a major victory for American civil liberties and ensures the protection of our basic Constitutional rights. We have Separation of Powers to protect our rights. That’s what government was organized to do and that’s what the Constitution was put in place to do,” Paul said. “I would like to congratulate my fellow colleagues in both the House and Senate and thank them for joining me in protecting the rights of due process.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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I missed it. What was the exact statement that prompted Paul's questions and who made the statement? Was it an official policy statement or was it just some administration fool speaking off the cuff and getting it wrong? I swear, our so-called "leaders" shouldn't be allowed to speak in public. Their words do as much to erode public confidence as their actions do.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paul wrote a letter asking this question of Holder, as I understand it, a week or so ago, and got a vague "it's possible, I suppose" answer from him in response. It's the sort of amateurish, off the cuff, why are you daring ask me questions like this? response that most Republicans get from the Dems on almost any issue. Ted Cruz hammered Holder the other day about it, and kept getting vague answers, apparently until one of Holder's handlers got ahold of him and told him it'd be better to be unequivocal...which is what this letter is. Frankly I think it's a good thing it's short...do you want to listen to that idiot for any longer than you have to?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Next up: the redefining of "engaged in combat" to include "actively planning a military style attack". So we're back where we started.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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