Jay Carney: Okay, fine, Obama doesn’t have the authority to use drones against Americans on U.S. soil

posted at 2:41 pm on March 7, 2013 by Allahpundit

Strictly speaking, Eric Holder already acknowledged this yesterday after three agonizing minutes of Ted Cruz teasing it out of him. But Rand Paul wanted a formal statement from the White House as a condition of ending his filibuster. And now, apparently, he’s got it:

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at 1:15 pm. that Mr. Holder’s letter to the Kentucky Republican went out shortly after noon, and just 12 hours after Mr. Paul stages a marathon talking filibuster on the Senate floor demanding clarification of U.S. drone policies and the president’s authority to order strikes on Americans.

Mr. Holder’s letter answers Mr. Rand’s question, “Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill Americans not engaged in combat on U.S. soil,” Mr. Carney said.

“The answer to that question is no,” he said. “A letter signed by the attorney general has gone out in the last half an hour.”

That’s nearly the full text of the letter, a copy of which you can find at the Weekly Standard. All that’s missing is how it begins: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question.” Yeah? Paul’s been demanding an answer from the White House about this since mid-February at least. Only yesterday, after he spent 13 hours on the Senate floor repeating that question a few thousand times, did it finally come to Holder’s attention?

Also, before you celebrate, think carefully about whether Holder’s really answering his concerns. Paul wasn’t just asking about “weaponized drones.” He was asking about targeted killing generally. Sending the CIA in to shoot a guy in the head because he’s on O’s “kill list” doesn’t address the due process concerns just because no drone was used. The phrase “not engaged in combat” is also murky since the entire point of this debate is about defining what it means to be “engaged in combat” against the United States. Paul’s point yesterday was that, even if a U.S. citizen is an “enemy combatant,” the feds should be barred from summarily executing him if he’s on U.S. soil. Only if he’s in the process of carrying out an attack is lethal force justified. That’s his definition of “engaged in combat,” at least inside the continental U.S. The alternate definition is that an “enemy combatant” is, by his very nature, always engaged in combat against America. The DOJ itself more or less adopted that definition by defining “imminence” so broadly in its “white paper” on drone attacks as to suggest that members of Al Qaeda are always, at every moment, posing an imminent threat because they’re “continually plotting.” By that standard, Obama could drop a bomb on a U.S.-born jihadi hiding in an American safe house and still be okay under Holder’s letter here because the target was, as a member of Al Qaeda who was up to no good, necessarily “engaged in combat.” We’ll see what Paul has to say to all this. Not sure if he’s seen the letter yet, but for now he’s enjoying seeing them forced to speak up:

Update: Perhaps it’s time for Congress to stop letting Obama define his own authority on this:

We suspect the day an administration starts killing Americans with drones at cafes — to borrow one of Rand Paul’s hypotheticals — is the day impeachment proceedings begin. If Congress is worried, though, there is a simple expedient. As Andy McCarthy has written, “Nothing prevents Congress from amending the AUMF to provide explicit protections for Americans suspected of colluding with this unique enemy. Congress could, for example, instruct that in the absence of an attack or a truly imminent threat, the president is not authorized to use lethal force in the United States against Americans suspected of being enemy combatants. Congress could also define what it means by ‘imminent.’”

And in fact, Paul and Ted Cruz have a bill in the works that would do just that. Which poses a dilemma for O: Resist on grounds that the bill is a violation of separation of powers because it circumscribes his authority as commander-in-chief, or give in because it would be simply atrocious for a president to oppose a bill limiting his power to assassinate Americans?

Update: Paul says he’s A-OK with Holder’s response:

“I’m quite happy with the answer,” Paul told CNN. “Through the advise and consent process, I’ve got an important answer.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Obama may have to go play golf with Fidel down in Cuba and get some pointers on how to jail people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

He will need a cooling off period for sure.

I think about one dust up a month with him should keep his lying ass busy and out of our pocketbooks.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM

I bet Juan McCain and Sugar Bitches feel pretty stupid now.

hawkdriver on March 7, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Dorner was killed with out due process

Politricks on March 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Django Dorner COMMITTED SUICIDE, idjit. His own family does NOT dispute that fact.

Nevertheless, as to the use of deadly force and law enforcement, in Tennessee v Garner, 471 US 1 (1985), the Supreme Court held that law enforcement is only permitted the use of such force against dangerous suspects, who are in flight, when killing the suspect is “necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

In Fourth Amendment cases, the Supreme Court has stressed that “the use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead.”

Deadly force was held not justified where a suspect’s vehicle was “moving slowly and in a non-aggressive manner, could not have hit any of the officers, and was stationary at the time of the shooting.” Kirby v Duva, 530 F.3d 475, 482 (6th Cir. 2008). Also, in Smith v Cupp, 430 F.3d 766, 774-75 (6th Cir. 2005), the Court held that suspect who had taken control of officer’s patrol car, although he was in possession of a dangerous weapon, “was not threatening the lives of those around him.”

Given the fact that Dorner a) had killed an officer at the final shootout site, b) sent another officer to ICU where he is in critical condition, and c) continued to shoot from the cabin, lethal force could be used because:

1. It was “necessary to prevent the escape;”

AND

2. Officers had “probable cause to believe that the suspect posed a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers or others.”

While I would prefer that LE not use lethal force because I don’t support state-sponsored killings, I have no problem with using it if the alternative is the deaths of more innocent people. LE would have been completely within the law to take him down.

PS: You can continue to raise this stupid strawman, but I will continue to not only swat it down with the law but also stomp on it, hack it to death, and set it on fire.

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Any American who hasn’t read or watched ’1984′ should do so! When I see the photo of bho HA sometimes has of bho, it looks just as I imagine what ‘big brother’ looks like? An evil horrible sub-human! And I imagine what bho/team would want the US to be like in ’1984′!

What the world of 1984 could have looked like in reality had there been no bumps in the road for leftists and they had been given a free hand nearly a century ago in creating their utopia.

Orwell was a visionary of what the Left is ultimately capable.

hawkeye54 on March 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

in the history of the world, how many buffoons thought that tyranny couldn’t happen, when it did?
OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM

So it’s 2072, and Grand Overlord Arduino has established tyrany in America. He has confiscated all the guns, he abolished Congress, he sent all Federal judges to a concentration camp in Alaska. His ubiquitous spy network has somehow discovered that this group of noncombatant American citizens in Texas is plotting to overthrow him. He sends a drone to kill them but his military chief says “No, Grand Overlord, you can’t do that, because in 2013 Jay Carney promised Senator Rand Paul that we wouldn’t do that.” And this is how it’ll come to pass that tyranny will have been thwarted. Come on now, seriously, just how likely is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Rand Paul is not right. As a matter of fact I’m troubled by all of these extrajudicial executions, even when they happen in Yemen or Pakistan, and even when all the people blown up are foreigners. I just fail to see how a tepid promise not to do any extrajudicial executions in the US where nonmilitary law enforcement is abundantly available to make an arrest, while continuing to kill hundreds of people abroad who may or may not be deserving it is all of a sudden a great victory for constitutionality.

Time Lord on March 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Matter of fact the best next way is to get some White House gofer out in public or under oath in a Senate hearing and bring up Global Warming/Climate Change/CO2 kills fraud.

We have the facts good enough now, hell all Rand and Ted staff have to do is down load the info on
http://www.wattsupwiththat.com and go from that.

They could get one of the commie gofers to say some outlandish crap say some nut job from the EPA.

Then demand that they show the data to back it up.

Show me the tree rings, show me the data for the hockey stick trick.
Shoe U.S. Michael Mann’s e-mails from the Universities he worked at.

Easy mark that.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

The president’s new term sure isn’t off to a great start, now, is it? He skated through his first two years, campaigned most of the next two, and everywhere he’s gone since he was elected he’s run into a brick wall. Better watch out or he’ll end up without a legacy at all.

scalleywag on March 7, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Refresh my memory: how many noncombatant Americans have been killed by drone strikes on American soil?

Time Lord on March 7, 2013 at 2:45 PM

If Rand Paul can save one life….

Lily on March 7, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Now we need a Filibuster until we know who gave the ‘Stand Down” order at Benghazi…

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Dorner was killed with out due process

Politricks on March 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Hah, sue him for committing suicide, dummy.

Schadenfreude on March 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM

PS: You can continue to raise this stupid strawman, but I will continue to not only swat it down with the law but also stomp on it, hack it to death, and set it on fire.

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Heh, but you are not granting “due process” :)

Schadenfreude on March 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Rand got his answer, good on him…but given the lawlessness of this administration, does it really mean anything?

RedInMD on March 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Folks, we really need to work hard to elect Senators like Paul, Cruz, Johnson, Lee, and Rubio in 2014. I respect Graham and McCain, but their lack of care on this crucial issue is shocking. Priority number one: take back the Senate. Closely behind, priority number two: take back the Senate from the old guard.

youknowit on March 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Time Lord,

Obama signed the letter, (yes we have to confirm that) now if they or any one after them do not follow the written letter they go to jail.

Presidents, Generals, Atty. Generals are not above the law.

well unless your Bill Clinton or John Kerry….
commie get a free pass just now, but History knows the true history.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

The only sound I’m hearing are busy signals and “this mail box is full” at Graham and McCains offices…
Yeah no one cares.

They don’t care to hear or read messages from the lowly peasants opposed to what they do. They care about themselves, their power and what they want to accomplish, not what we want them to accomplish.

hawkeye54 on March 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

It was all a bunch of hooey between two people – Rand Paul and Eric Holder – who have no clue what they are talking about.

There is an extant AG opinion from the Bush years which requires due process. It still has the force of law until overturned or superseded. So there is that (ask John Yoo if you don’t believe me).

BUT the problem is not one of due process. Drones could indeed be used against US citizens in the US IF they are participating in an attack. Just as a tank could be, or an M-16.

It’s a totally different situation, but one which has never been controversial. Except to the Drs. Paul, who consider even foreign drone strikes unconstitutional.

Kudos to Rand Paul for making us all look like idiots.

Adjoran on March 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Time Lord on March 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

TL, nobody … NOBODY … is placing any weight on what Opie said.

That he admitted something has nothing to do with obstructing what the Dictator desires to do.

The fact that he admitted that something was wrong, with what the Dictator desires to do, is what we’re mocking.

NOBODY in this thread trusts Opie, in the least.

Let alone, Commander Transparent.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 3:35 PM

The order for the stand down might be a bit hard to do, but, an easy one is,,,

“We the undersigned U.S. Senators demand that all the people rescued from the Bengazie fight be brought before the U.S. Senate put under oath and they have to tell all they know.”

Let Obumber try to stall that, as Ted Cruz blast his lawless ass for 13 hours on CSPAN.

Next thing we have to watch out for is the commie Democrats will stop CSPAN some how.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:36 PM

I think that the thing that most alarms me are the herd of cattle, who chew their cud, while our country rots.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM

This is absolutely one of the scariest things, to me. How do we ever overcome the mass of stupidity that will continue to vote for a socialist country?

MustLoveBlogs on March 7, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Kudos to Rand Paul for making us all look like idiots.

Adjoran on March 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM

This was a win for liberty and government restraint.

MoreLiberty on March 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Adjunkhead,

Easy to see how the rule of law can be forgot easy by dumb ass swine.

But pigs will root like pigs to the end of slop.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Dorner was killed with out due process

Politricks on March 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Dorner was actively resisting with force.

MoreLiberty on March 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Adjoran on March 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I don’t think you have been paying attention to this debate. Sen. Paul clearly says that if a threat is imminent, in the actual meaning of the word, then the government can use lethal force to stop it — just as your local police department can. What Sen. Paul was trying to get the White House to unequivocally state is that it is unconstitutional to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil if they are not, at that time, engaged in hostile acts.

youknowit on March 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

MustLoveBlogs
OhEssYouCowboys,

Sheep dogs do what sheep dogs do, protect the flock no matter some do not know what a wolf is ever.

Not all of U.S. have the code at the start.

But is is there in way more than any one knows.

I have seen kids come off the planes in the I-Corps and not know come here from sic um.

60 days later, just like a 20 year tracker reading sign, hell smelling the vc, and ya, hear the chopper coming from 10 miles away or more.

Its in many, they just do not know it yet.

A few little zings and “ppppppppppisshhhh” by the head changes things.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

This is absolutely one of the scariest things, to me. How do we ever overcome the mass of stupidity that will continue to vote for a socialist country?

MustLoveBlogs on March 7, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I don’t think that we will overcome it.

The only change that Obamuh will bring, is the change that comes from collapse.

And that’s like trying to deal with a bullet that’s already passed through your brain.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I’m sure this has already been posted but just in case you have short memories:

Tea Party is a Terrorist Organization

1,750,000 entries.

Just remember WHO they will target first.

Key West Reader on March 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

It was all a bunch of hooey between two people – Rand Paul and Eric Holder – who have no clue what they are talking about.

There is an extant AG opinion from the Bush years which requires due process. It still has the force of law until overturned or superseded. So there is that (ask John Yoo if you don’t believe me).

BUT the problem is not one of due process. Drones could indeed be used against US citizens in the US IF they are participating in an attack. Just as a tank could be, or an M-16.

It’s a totally different situation, but one which has never been controversial. Except to the Drs. Paul, who consider even foreign drone strikes unconstitutional.

Kudos to Rand Paul for making us all look like idiots.

Adjoran on March 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM

“It seems to me that Cruz is hitting on the key distinction that separates acceptable lethal force on American soil from nonacceptable lethal force: is there an imminent threat?

What is eye-opening about this exchange is that Eric Holder seems to think the words “appropriate” and “constitutional” have the same meaning. It is a common failing of leftists, to be sure, but I expect more from the head of the Department of Justice…

As I noted this morning, Dick Cheney gave the direct order (which he says ultimately came from the President) to shoot down Flight 93 if necessary. That’s an imminent threat. It isn’t necesary to imagine a situation where something like that would be necessary. We’ve already experienced it.

That said, in a world where LAPD officers think they need to shoot at what turns out to be a delivery truck; in a world where criminals “SWAT” people they don’t like; in a world where “intelligence” is often imperfect . . . you had better be damned sure you’re right in such a circumstance.

The President already has authority to launch nuclear warheads. Like it or not (and with this guy, I don’t), we already entrust the holder of that office with a tremendous amount of responsibility and authority.

All that said, in a situation where there is no such imminent danger, the Constitution — not just prudence — prevents such unilateral action. It is troubling that, even when the distinction is carefully explained to him more than once, Eric Holder doesn’t seem to understand the difference.”

http://patterico.com/

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Brilliant. Again, the key to all of this is not Obama vs Paul. It’s the young bucks vs the old coots in the GOP and (almost as important) the Obama worshipers vs the Dems that have a passing consideration for civil liberties.

happytobehere on March 7, 2013 at 3:49 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I fear that there are not enough sheepdogs to corral the sheep.

I fear that collapse will come before awareness.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Since when do simple laws stop this president from doing something?

Ted Nugent beware.

ROCnPhilly on March 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

This is absolutely one of the scariest things, to me. How do we ever overcome the mass of stupidity that will continue to vote for a socialist country?

MustLoveBlogs on March 7, 2013 at 3:38 PM

The only way is to pay lip service to the “oppressed” and try to stop “oppression” in all its forms. Most people aren’t voting for socialism (they have no idea what socialism even is) they are voting for the candidate they feel cares about “oppression” more.

happytobehere on March 7, 2013 at 3:53 PM

A few little zings and “ppppppppppisshhhh” by the head changes things.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

.
A dyed-in-the-wool reality check.

Like holding your firstborn in the delivery room.

Or waiting for a parent to pass on.

Those moments redefine you.

Good post, APACHEWHOKNOWS.

PolAgnostic on March 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

McCain and Graham have been replaced as Republican leaders to deal with this administration. Rand, Kruse and others have relegated them to “behinders.” That is why they are so ticked off. The circus has passed them by.

KCsecurity1976 on March 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Any American who hasn’t read or watched ’1984′ should do so! When I see the photo of bho HA sometimes has of bho, it looks just as I imagine what ‘big brother’ looks like? An evil horrible sub-human! And I imagine what bho/team would want the US to be like in ’1984′!

Conservatives see 1984 as a dire warning; progressives see it as an instruction manual.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Flying Pig Alert: Van Jones Hits Fellow Libs For Not Opposing Obama’s Domestic Drone Policy…

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Watching the shred of the left who have a couple principles call out the Odumbo sycophants is the icing on the cake from the fine work Rand did yesterday.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

#StandWithRand is STILL in the top Twitter trends today.

mythicknight on March 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

As much as it’s admirable to take a stand for something someone believes in, this whole Rand Paul thing has a certain strangeness to it. He’s had zero impact on policy – he imagined what he admitted to be an absurd scenario – and then demanded a letter affirming it’s absurdity. One has to wonder if he truly has a passion for keeping executive power in check, he hasn’t been more vocal and demanding of accountability for the actual deeds under Bush/Cheney as he is for the wildly absurd hypothetical ones under Obama.
I think he was sincere – but still weird.
As far as the cheering and backslapping he’s seeing…that’s political. That this is truly a cause/concern for Republicans/Conservatives…just wow. Things have changed.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

I fear that there are not enough sheepdogs to corral the sheep.

I fear that collapse will come before awareness.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

.
It probably will … and some of the sheep will stampede over a cliff.

I used to have a list of rules posted in my office. The one on the list that drew the most attention was:

“All suicides are not preventable.”

It was there so the folks who worked for me would ask about it. (A lot of other people did too.)

I told them it was there to remind them there would be times when the people we supported would decide to stampede right off a cliff – figuratively speaking. My expectation was they would remember my rule and NOT follow the herd.

It works and it kept a few of them sane. If we can’t avoid a collapse … try to remember that rule.

PolAgnostic on March 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

“And in fact, Paul and Ted Cruz have a bill in the works that would do just that.”

While I think Paul framed his arguments, the filibuster, and his persistence in getting an answer from Obama around American citizen to emphasize his concerns, I hope the legislation is clearer in having it apply to anyone within US jurisdiction. It shouldn’t matter in it’s application whether the person is a foreigner, a permanent resident or a citizen, because the definitive features are jurisdiction and circumstance, not status.

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Funny that you have McCain’s wife using Hanoi Jane as her example to illustrate a point. Did she forget where her husband was a POW?

LetsBfrank on March 7, 2013 at 4:08 PM

The victory is he went on the offensive against this administration, and forced them to react. Gingotts on March 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM

You mean like Andrew Breitbart did with the MSM? That’s what came to mind when you said “forced them to react.”

A.B. would be so proud.

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM

he imagined what he admitted to be an absurd scenario – and then demanded a letter affirming it’s absurdity.

Then why is it so difficult for Obama and his cohorts to simply say that? Why the song and dance?

One has to wonder if he truly has a passion for keeping executive power in check, he hasn’t been more vocal and demanding of accountability for the actual deeds under Bush/Cheney as he is for the wildly absurd hypothetical ones under Obama.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

It would be a hell of a trick if he did that given that Rand Paul was elected in 2010 and Bush left office in 2008. There are limits to his powers!

sharrukin on March 7, 2013 at 4:12 PM

My understanding and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it the President the only one that has the authority to issue a drone strike? Does the Attorney General of the U.S. have that authority?
Does anyone else have that authority?

Thank you.

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

BOOOOOSH!

No…seriously?

You’ve become a sterotype.

Sad.

kingsjester on March 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM

[verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM]

Rand Paul isn’t arguing for accountability, per se, he’s arguing for clear limitations on scope of power. Now the outcome may serve to subsequently hold officials accountable, you only argued from the position of accountability so you could lamely slide “Bush/Cheney” into your argument objecting to a Senator who wasn’t in office during the Bush Administration.

Maybe you should wait for someone with a better mind to write your arguments in a credible media organization, like McCain did. Then you can come and read your arguments to us.

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM

It would be a hell of a trick if he did that given that Rand Paul was elected in 2010 and Bush left office in 2008. There are limits to his powers!

sharrukin on March 7, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Yes, I know.
This doesn’t preclude him working towards and advocating for accountability.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM

[bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM]

I suppose that’s a good question. Speaking of normal circumstance and absent detailed knowledge of all the legislation, I would say he can delegate that authority.

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 4:23 PM

It works and it kept a few of them sane. If we can’t avoid a collapse … try to remember that rule.

PolAgnostic on March 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I think that America has passed the point of no return, and that it is simply another Euro-Socialist shithole, waiting to happen.

Even worse, I think that America is headed towards dictatorship.

The herd WANT to be told what to do. The herd WANT to be controlled.

I hope that you’re right, and that I’m wrong.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 4:31 PM

[bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM]

I suppose that’s a good question. Speaking of normal circumstance and absent detailed knowledge of all the legislation, I would say he can delegate that authority.

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Thank you. I know he can delegate that authority and would that mean only he has that authority? It would seem so. The reason I’m asking is if that is true, that only the President has this authority, then the letter Holder sent isn’t worth much imo. I’m not an attorney but how can Holder limit what a President can do; seeing he us under the President?

If the President of the United States is the only one with the power to order a drone attack, whether delegated or not, then should not that letter have been sent and signed by him?

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Has anyone seen the vote breakdown for Brennan?

It was 63-34, and of course, McCain and Graham voted for confirmation – any word on the other Republicans who joined them?

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Rand won the Drone fight the same way Donald Trump won the birth control battle. :-P

BohicaTwentyTwo on March 7, 2013 at 4:47 PM

verbsoutofbalance,

Try this, “Apachewhoknows” sworn in today as President and Commander In Chief.” Members of the press say they last saw him with a list of bloggers he disliked and was at the CIA drone strike unit until he gets what he wants.

Now would you want it in writting,, down in writting in the law books,, in the rule books on who nice old Apachwhoknows can drone into with high exposives.

like that turn about is fair play

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Conservatives see 1984 as a dire warning; progressives see it as an instruction manual awesome fulfillment of their vision of the world’s future.

FIFY.

Of course the progressives could see ’1984′ as instructive. I believe Orwell pulled much of the source material for his novel from first hand experience with communists (progressives)and their instructive writings.

hawkeye54 on March 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM

That would be “birth certificate” battle. :-)

I promise no more emoticons.

BohicaTwentyTwo on March 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM

No one is above the law.

No ONE.

Not even the One, the Obama.

If he goes out and committs a crime he is just one of U.S..

Say he kicks his wife down the stairs, is that ok just because he is Pres..

Say he jumps some Gen. who refuses to obey a unlawful order and he uses a night stick to the back of the Gen.’s head to get his attention.

He goes to jail.

No one is above the law.
The constitution is over U.S. all now and forever.

It is all we have between U.S. and any old mass killing loon who just happens to get 50.0001% of the vote.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Jay Carney: Okay, fine, Obama doesn’t have the authority to use drones against Americans on U.S. soil

…tomorrow the White House will claim that Jay Carney was confused and mispoke…or had a blood clot or something!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

tomorrow the White House will claim that Jay Carney was confused and mispoke…or had a blood clot or something!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Hmmm, I don’t know. They would sort of have to claim that Holder was too, LOL

Decisions, Decisions, who do we throw under the bus today?

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 5:06 PM

But watch Obama pardon the terrorist doctor at Fort Hood.

mixplix on March 7, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Love it! Where ya been, PR?

[PR is my Orwell go-to-guy]

And Orwell needs to be quoted – DAILY.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 7, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Just beating up a few Progressives on Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and a few other sites that support Disqus commentary!

My loathing of liberals is at Defcon 1 these days….

Polish Rifle on March 7, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Some in Dearborn must be relieved.

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2013 at 5:29 PM

[bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 4:37 PM]

Sorry for not noticing your response sooner.

Well, again, my commonsense response in keeping with normal circumstance (not to mention the Constitution’s “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America” clause) is that the President heads up the Executive Branch and made his Cabinet appointment to DOJ, that would be Holder, to represent him in all respects at Justice. As such, when Holder speaks, it is the president speaking, and when push comes to shove, the buck stops here and all, being the operative presumption. Further, if the President doesn’t want his appointees to speak out of turn he should instruct them not to speak until he can approve what they will say and if they say something he disagrees with he should be quick to correct it. That’s because the default arrangement is ‘silence means consent’.

Unfortunately, Obama likes to think of himself as suitably detached from all responsibility of the position he occupies, the people he hires to represent him, and everyone else who “works” for him.

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 5:49 PM

[verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM]

Rand Paul isn’t arguing for accountability, per se, he’s arguing for clear limitations on scope of power. Now the outcome may serve to subsequently hold officials accountable, you only argued from the position of accountability so you could lamely slide “Bush/Cheney” into your argument objecting to a Senator who wasn’t in office during the Bush Administration.

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Ok…he’s arguing for ‘clear limitations on scope of power’.
And you think that argument can exist solely in the bubble of and Obama admin? Look, I know this is getting tricky for many of you- to find yourselves suddenly concerned. But I’m not making any sort of ‘blame Bush’ argument. Perhaps you weren’t a member of the Bush/Cheney apology choir during the time they were actually (not hypothetically)subverting the constitution. Maybe you expressed your disgust at the legal reasoning of John Yoo. Maybe you weren’t out there making ‘ticking bomb’ arguments in support of torture. Maybe you were outraged by the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping.
But maybe, like so many here, you were a full throated cheerleader then?

Had, say, Dennis Kuchinich demanded from Bush a letter affirming that the president could not in any circumstance order the torture of the children of suspected terrorists, would he have received one? Would John Yoo, if asked, been able to produce a memo with legal reasoning to allow such torture?

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Dorner was killed with out due process

Politricks on March 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

To be fair, you waive the right to due process when you shoot your own face off and die.

But you already knew that.

Spliff Menendez on March 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Unless your ultimate point is that Obama wipes his ass with the Constitution just like Bush did, then maybe you should just stop.

Spliff Menendez on March 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Jay Carney: Okay, fine, Obama doesn’t have the authority to use drones against Americans on U.S. soil

Awwww…….Carney sounds disappointed.

GarandFan on March 7, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Unless your ultimate point is that Obama wipes his ass with the Constitution just like Bush did, then maybe you should just stop.

Spliff Menendez on March 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I’ll make this easier for you –
As Rand himself noted…Obama hasn’t done anything.
If he/you wanna add a ‘yet’ to that, fine.
With Bush, the debate was over things that were actually happening – not hypothetical.
But I’m not suggesting we have that debate – and clearly few here wanted to then or want to now.
But by all means, let’s all agree that Obama can’t order a drone to fire a hellfire missile at someone enjoying a latte at a Starbucks while reading the comics…on a sunny day.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 6:06 PM

just wow. Things have changed.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Not at all. Your sort wants unlimited power – including the power of life and death – for your obamassiah.
We prefer an executive with limited power to kill us.

Be careful what you wish for, lefty. Your little brown Indonesian won’t always be pResident.

Solaratov on March 7, 2013 at 6:13 PM

sharrukin on March 7, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Don’t confuse verbaluce with facts.

He’s the very exemplar of the old saw: “Life is tough. It’s even tougher when you’re stupid.”

Solaratov on March 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Don’t confuse verbaluce with facts.

Solaratov on March 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM

He/she/it doesn’t care about the facts anyway. If the trains were rolling by carrying prisoners to the Kansas ‘processing’ camps, verbaluce would be cheering and waving the Democratic pompoms.

sharrukin on March 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

This doesn’t preclude him working towards and advocating for accountability.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Can it be assumed then, that you’d advocate for the same degree of accountability from bj klinton, vis a vis his dereliction in not bringing bin laden to “justice” when offered the chance?

Solaratov on March 7, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Dusty on March 7, 2013 at 5:49 PM

No problem on the time of your response. If I have a question pending, I leave the window open. I had to cook anyway:-)

Your explanation is helpful in understanding this and also interesting. Interesting in that Ted Cruz & Rand Paul have introduced a bill in the Senate today:

http://www.cruz.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=339952

I’m going to follow this and it will be informative to see if it gets any co-sponsors.

I appreciate the time you’ve taken to answer my questions.

Listening to Mark Levin now:-)

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

a)You’re a condescending little snot.

b)Offer citations of Bush “actually subverting the Constitution”. (Not some leftist, paranoid rant, either.)

c)You’re a liar.

d)Have I mentioned that you’re an idiot? Well, you are.

Solaratov on March 7, 2013 at 6:30 PM

My only concern is that Mitch Rapp can still do whatever he thinks necessary.

MTF on March 7, 2013 at 7:19 PM

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Bush still keeping you up at night? Living in the past? Here try something new. It will make you feel all better.

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Obama may have to go play golf with Fidel down in Cuba and get some pointers on how to jail people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

He will need a cooling off period for sure.

I think about one dust up a month with him should keep his lying ass busy and out of our pocketbooks.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM

LOVE THIS!

disa on March 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM

It seems Holder’s letter raises more issues than it settles. It states “Americans not engaged in combat on U.S. soil.” What if Americans were engaged in combat on U.S. soil to defend their Liberty and Constitution, what then?

Tripwhipper on March 7, 2013 at 10:40 PM

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM
Bush still keeping you up at night? Living in the past? Here try something new. It will make you feel all better.
Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

You’re deflecting.
Aw well…

verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 12:55 AM

Maybe you were outraged by the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping.
 
But maybe, like so many here, you were a full throated cheerleader then?
 
verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

 
Most days it’s fun to point out the constant and cult-like hypocrisy, but sometimes I actually feel sorry for you:
 

between 2009 and 2011 the combined number of original orders for pen registers and trap and trace devices used to spy on phones increased by 60%, from 23,535 in 2009 to 37,616 in 2011.
 
During that same time period, the number of people whose telephones were the subject of pen register and trap and trace surveillance more than tripled. In fact, more people were subjected to pen register and trap and trace surveillance in the past two years than in the entire previous decade
 
The number of authorizations the Justice Department received to use these devices on individuals’ email and network data increased 361% between 2009 and 2011.
 
http://tinyurl.com/cbg5jas

 
Say, have you noticed which which current events and which administration you’ve been absolutely silent about during all of these threads?
 
Don’t worry if not. Everyone else has.
 

But maybe, like so many here, you were a full throated cheerleader then?

 
Well put.
 

In fact, more people were subjected to pen register and trap and trace surveillance in the past two years than in the entire previous decade

 
I liked that part the best, didn’t you?
 
Oops, sorry. I meant I liked this one best:
 

he hasn’t been more vocal and demanding of accountability for the actual deeds under Bush/Cheney as he is for the wildly absurd hypothetical ones under Obama.
 
verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

 
Hilariously well put.
 
(I bet you didn’t even know about the increase, did you? OBAMA 2013!)
 
Since it doesn’t get much more on-topic:
 
Ed/AP, can we have an open registration soon, please?

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 6:59 AM

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Bush gets mentioned…instant ‘Blame Bush!’ retort.
(Oddly, you’re the one pointing out that Obama has simply continued and stepped up polices of the prev. admin. And maybe you’re also just now concerned about the legality of it all?)
I am not absolving Bush or absolving Obama here.
What about you?

verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I am not absolving Bush or absolving Obama here.
What about you?
 
verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 8:52 AM

 
Liar.
 

…wildly absurd hypothetical ones under Obama.

 
Do you even realize what you write as you’re full throated cheerleading?
 

What about you?

 
I didn’t vote for Obama.
 
Hey, you did though, didn’t you? Which means you either
 
1) didn’t know about the increased wiretapping or
 
2) you were okay with it because of the (D) next to his name.
 
There are no other choices.
 
Which is it?

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 9:19 AM

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 9:19 AM

It was pretty simple…I’ll try again:
I am not absolving Bush or absolving Obama here.
What about you?

verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 9:26 AM

What about you?
 
verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 9:26 AM

 
Please keep up. I already told you I didn’t vote for Obama.
 
You did though, right?
 
Meaning you were either ignorant of the topic or fine with his actions and support continuing them.
 
Which is it?

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I already told you I didn’t vote for Obama.
rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Whoopdeedoo.
What does that have to do with being able to answer here?
Is it really that hard for you to say anything critical about Bush admin/policies…as hard as saying anything supportive of Obama?

I’ll give you the opp to avoid the question one more time.
(I figure that’s more relasitic than expecting you to answer it.)

I am not absolving Bush or absolving Obama here.
What about you?

verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Dorner was killed with out due process

Politricks on March 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Dorner was engaged in a violent felony at the time and would not give himself up. This violent felony involved shooting at LEO’s whom were trying to arrest him. At least pick an example that has ball park applicability.

anuts on March 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I already told you I didn’t vote for Obama.
 
rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 9:36 AM

 
Whoopdeedoo…
 
verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM

 
As I’ve told you in the past, I remain amazed that you as an adult haven’t learned that the best counter to your own words aren’t more of your own words.
 
I know you have comprehension problems, but don’t you understand the difference between a person accepting and knowingly voting for (absolving) a current incumbent who had
 

simply continued and stepped up polices of the prev. admin.

 
four months ago and any criticism of the Bush administration of a decade* ago?
 

I’ll give you the opp to avoid the question one more time.
 
verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM

 
Yes, I’m certain you’d much prefer your usual MO
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/19/important-psa-from-joe-biden-buy-a-shotgun-buy-a-shotgun/comment-page-3/#comment-6741033
 
of redirecting the conversation since you’re hooked so deeply, but let’s stay on topic, shall we? Especially since we’ve got the opp.
 
The funniest part is that I don’t have to do anything other than
 
1) note that you’re a liar, and
 
2) direct the readers to where you agree with that:
 

Oddly, you’re the one pointing out that Obama has simply continued and stepped up polices of the prev. admin. ..
 
verbaluce on March 8, 2013 at 8:52 AM

 
My original point, btw, and the one you’ve been trying to shake this entire time. Thanks for acknowledging how silent you’ve been.
 
Sing it with me- Which brings us back to:
 

Maybe you were outraged by the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping.
 
But maybe, like so many here, you were a full throated cheerleader then?
 
verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Say, have you noticed which which current events and which administration you’ve been absolutely silent about during all of these threads?
 
rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 6:59 AM

 
And I take back what I wrote above. The funniest part is that even lester and chumpthreads have sense enough to recognize when they’ve put themselves in an indefensible position and need to sulk away from a thread.
 
#butsurelyifyouwritemorewordsitwillhelp
 
Obama 2013!

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 11:02 PM

* 10 years. #ibetyouknowwhenamericanidolbeginsthough

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 11:04 PM

rogerb on March 8, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Well I guess if I need to write that much to say so little, I might wait until the thread was dead to sneak in with a ‘last ‘word’.
But alas…you have stil…still, still, still…not answered:

I am not absolving Bush or absolving Obama here.
What about you?

Though maybe in a way, you have…

verbaluce on March 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Bless your heart. Don’t want to stay on topic, do you? I can see why, though. As can everyone else.

rogerb on March 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3