Rand Paul Asks The Wrong Question On Administration’s Power To Kill Americans On US Soil

Via @slublog, Rand Paul’s got the right general idea on holding Obama to account but asks the wrong question. Paul wants CIA Director nominee John Brennan to answer a direct question about what limits the administration sees on its authority to target American citizens on US soil.

During your confirmation process in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), committee members have quite appropriately made requests similar to questions I raised in my previous letter to you-that you expound on your views on the limits of executive power in using lethal force against U.S. citizens, especially when operating on U.S. soil. In fact, the Chairman of the SSCI, Sen. Feinstein, specifically asked you in post-hearing questions for the record whether the Administration could carry out drone strikes inside the United States. In your response, you emphasized that the Administration “has not carried out” such strikes and “has no intention of doing so.” I do not find this response sufficient.

The question that I and many others have asked is not whether the Administration has or intends to carry out drone strikes inside the United States, but whether it believes it has the authority to do so. This is an important distinction that should not be ignored.

(Emphasis mine)

Paul goes on to say he will filibuster the nomination unless he gets an answer.

Here’s the problem, focusing on the authority (or lack thereof)  to use a “drone” to kill an American on US soil misses the point. It’s not a question of what tool (a drone) Obama can use, it’s whether he thinks he can legally do it at all. Brennan could say, “no we aren’t allowed to use drones in that case” and then Obama could order a targeted killing of an American on American soil using a gun, knife, artillery shell or cruise missile and still have been honest in answering “no” to Paul’s question.

It’s clear where Paul is going but he needs to be precise.

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About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on February 21, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Daniel Simpson Day

    So happy to know Barry has no current plans to kill me with a drone. I can stop looking over my shoulder.

  2. It’s almost as if words don’t mean anything to leftists.

    Paul should just say he’s fillibustering Brennan because Brennan wants to kill black women and children.

    Ask him about how his co-religionists treat black women and children.

  3. It’s not like Obama’s the kind of person to parse words beyond their plain meaning to achieve his desired ends.

    That was sarcastic, but the sad reality is he doesn’t parse, he just ignores. Feigned consistency is more of a Clinton thing.

  4. As a matter of semantics, I believe Paul asked the exact right question. In the wrong way. You are correct in assessing that the means is not the real issue here. The real issue is that the Resident of the United States has declared himself to be in the posession the Supreme Right of Kings. He believes that whatever he does is legal and just and right becasue he commands it. He thinks he owns you. He should be removed immediately from office, jailed, and impeached for treason.

    Never surrender.
    Go Galt.

  1. Pingback: Sin Waving? | doubleplusundead

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