In response to inquiries made by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) during John Brennan’s confirmation hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder stated in a letter dated March 4, 2013 that, “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.” The statement from the Attorney General of the United States was not well received by the Junior Senator from Kentucky.
“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.”
According to a statement released by Senator Paul’s office, John Brennan also responded to one of the senator’s inquiries stating that the CIA does not have the power to authorize such operations.
With clarification and underlying justifications noticeably absent, one can assume that the Obama administration and the Justice Department must believe the president alone has the power to authorize such an action. I suppose the argument would stem from the president’s “war powers” – that is if this president was willing to admit the “war on terror” was an actual “war”; or even still ongoing for that matter.
But the hypocrisy and contradictions hardly end there. Just recap the last four years under this administration if you want a headache. Candidate Obama pledged to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay “day one.” That didn’t happen. The same president and the same Justice Department then moved to hold the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court rather than a military tribunal. But now the same president and the same Attorney General believe they have the power to authorize a drone strike on someone they deem to be an “operational leader” or someone involved in an attack on this country… without Due Process?
I’d laugh if I wasn’t terrified.
Think about what they’re saying here for a moment. Four years ago, this president believed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed deserved his “day in court.” He’d already had a hand in killing innocent Americans; and this president thought the military had no jurisdiction to try him. But now the president – through his powers as the civilian leader of our nation’s military – has the authority to kill someone before committing the crime? That’s quite a departure from his previous stance.
Don’t get me wrong, on some level I’m buying the post-9/11 upside down crazy logic; but I’m dumbfounded that this administration is really trying to sell it.
Can you imagine the “scandal” this story would be if we were talking about George W. Bush and not Barack H. Obama?
Linked at Political Realities. Thanks LD