Senior administration official: Holder’s letter to Rand Paul implies no change to our drone policy

posted at 11:21 am on March 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

An important footnote to the filibuster heard ’round the world. At first blush, this seems mundane: Paul’s interest was in limiting drone strikes on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, not overseas where all of the actual drone warfare (so far) is conducted, so of course it hasn’t changed current drone policy. But what about future drone policy, which may or may not involve strikes on American soil? Turns out it … hasn’t changed that either.

“Sen. Paul’s 13 hours on the Senate floor won’t have any practical effect on our policy and how we’re going after terrorists on a day-to-day basis,” a senior administration official told Yahoo News on condition of anonymity.

But didn’t Paul wring a letter out of Obama’s top lawyer, Attorney General Eric Holder, in which he effectively promised that Americans who aren’t lining up to take a shot at the Capitol with a grenade launcher (to paraphrase the senator) are safe?

In a word: No…

During his 13 hours on the Senate floor, Paul repeatedly asked whether Obama believed he had the authority to kill an American, on U.S. soil, who was not “actively attacking” America…

“Dear Senator Paul,” Holder said in a 43-word letter. “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 didn’t use the phrase “actively attacking.” And administration officials privately agreed on Friday that “not engaged in combat” was the key phrase going forward. None of them agreed to define the expression on the record.

That’s the whole ballgame. Paul wants to narrow the definition of “enemy combatant” for American citizens so that, if they’re here in the U.S., they receive some form of due process that a foreign jihadi overseas wouldn’t. The feds can still target them if they’re posing an ‘imminent threat,” but Paul wants “imminent” defined for American enemy combatants basically the same way it is under criminal law. Just as the cops can shoot a bad guy who’s pointing a gun in order to protect the public, the White House could take out an American-citizen jihadi here in U.S. if there’s an attack in progress (or, I guess, just about to begin). Otherwise, due process. The White House’s definition of “imminent,” per the legal memo they drafted to justify targeting Awlaki, is that if you’re a member of Al Qaeda and engaged in plotting attacks then you’re always an imminent threat — i.e. “engaged in combat” — no matter what you’re doing at any given moment. You’re always subject to assassination.

The upshot of the excerpt above is that Holder’s letter was carefully phrased to make it look like he was conceding to Paul when in fact he was conceding nothing. Which, actually, was obvious as soon as it was published; that’s why I was surprised when Paul celebrated it as a victory rather than dismissing it as yet another dodge. Maybe he figures it doesn’t matter at this point now that he and Ted Cruz are working to get a Senate vote on their amendment banning the president from drone strikes inside the U.S. against citizens. (Another brilliant political move, incidentally. Imagine the Democratic angst in trying to decide how to vote on that.) If you’re going to try to roll back a tiny bit of executive authority via legislation, it doesn’t much matter what Holder thinks. But if the vote fails — and, Senate Democrats being loyal partisans, I suspect it will — then it does matter. Paul should have kept pushing Holder on Friday after the letter was sent. As it is, while Trump’s wrong to say that the filibuster accomplished “nothing,” he’s more correct vis-a-vis actual drone policy than it may have seemed three days ago.

By the way, if you missed the NYT’s chronicle of the Awlaki assassination on Saturday, read it now. Rarely will you read a news story about a big-name member of Al Qaeda being liquidated where the most gripping part is the lawyers wrestling with statutes, but that’s true of this one — thanks to a twist. David Barron and Martin Lederman, the two DOJ honchos who signed off on the legality of assassinating Awlaki, co-authored a famous critique of Bush’s counterterror policies a few years ago in the Harvard Law Review. They thought warrantless wiretapping, among other techniques used by Bush-era counterterror officials, were unconstitutional; their reward for that was being hired by Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel, where they ended up making the case for … executive authority to kill United States citizens without due process. That’s the second example I can think of in which a prominent left-wing legal academic spent the Bush years inveighing against presidential power gone wild and then joined the Obama administration, only to be tasked with defending power grabs that were arguably even more legally dubious. (Harold Koh was the other.) See now why I think Senate Democrats will go in the tank for O if Paul makes them vote on drones?

Exit question: What “due process matrix” does Paul have in mind for jihadis based on citizenship and location? What I mean is, if being a U.S. citizen located in the U.S. means you get maximum due process, and if being a foreign citizen who’s located overseas means you get minimal, what about a U.S. citizen located overseas (i.e. Awlaki) or a foreign citizen located here in the U.S.? Do the latter two get some intermediate level of legal protection? Doesn’t due process apply to all persons inside the U.S., not just citizens? I’m sincerely curious to hear him elaborate on the legal framework he has in mind.


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

Ans 1.6 billion rounds of specialized ammo?

ok, I thought the fillabuster was a big stunt anyway. Now we can;t get ammo at our stores beucase of the high demand from our own govt? What are they planning for? Are we going to be the next Afganastan? They obviously planning for some event on our soil or some increase in use or are they just being cautious for what could happen from abroad? Maybe the muslims will turn here in our own country? They own all the 7-11′s. (humor there)

It certainly raises ones brow in interest.

johnnyU on March 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

This White House administration is truly absolutely amazing……………in a George Orwell type of way.

SC.Charlie on March 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

sure wish we had a 5 minute edit ability. :(

johnnyU on March 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

That just means they didn’t have a “policy” until Paul’s fillibuster forced them to commit to one.

tommyboy on March 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The upshot of the excerpt above is that Holder’s letter was carefully phrased to make it look like he was conceding to Paul when in fact he was conceding nothing.

So the Obamanation Administration lied to the American people yet again… I’m shocked, shocked I tell you…

SWalker on March 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Smart move on Paul’s part. Now bring the legislation and dare Dems to vote no. After all, the Attorney General agrees. We have it in writing. Make the Dems/Holder try to wiggle out of it. And make them do it in a very public way.

KCB on March 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The upshot of the excerpt above is that Holder’s letter was carefully phrased to make it look like he was conceding to Paul when in fact he was conceding nothing. Which, actually, was obvious as soon as it was published

It was painfully obvious: So qualified and broadbased as to be meaningless (Clinton would be proud). However, it raised awareness of the issues to the American people. That’s something, isn’t it?

WisRich on March 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

I knew that bho/holder had no intentions of actually telling the truth. They just said what they needed to get brennan confirmed and have done this many times in the past. THEY lie, lie, stall, and lie more! And to boot, OUR side old coot rino’s stood up to slam Paul!

I still love that Paul, Cruz, Lee, etc. stood up for what they believe.
L

letget on March 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Paul’s fight on this issue from day one was designed to gain some political ground against the President, and it succeeded brilliantly. If the administration now feels the need to back and fill with some equivocations due to a legitimate policy problem, post-cave, that’s fine. But the GOP gained a fresh look from lots of voters because of Paul’s fight, and that’s fantastic.

MTF on March 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Non-citizen enemy combatants, plotting on our soil, have the right to a fair trial…at Gitmo.

kingsjester on March 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Beneath. Contempt.

Criminals.

Traitors.

Build a new prison just to hold all of these cretins.

turfmann on March 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Any thing Obama says has the same amount of truth and facts as the global warming fraud does.

Hell may be the CO2/Global Warming Climate Change fraud has him beat.

Rand Paul knows Obama lies, Obama knows he lies.

So, do we.

Republican leaders know but would rather fool themselves than fight.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Find something Obama has told the truth about other than “redistribution of wealth” and you will be historic.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

I hope liberals are still supporting this policy when the next Republican president is in the White House. Somehow, I can’t imagine the press/liberals being so happy with a republican president ordering the assassination of American citizens on American soil.

But, of course, I’m sure they will remain consistent and continue to support the policy. After all, the press/liberals don’t just pursue power blindly with no actual principles, do they?

Monkeytoe on March 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM

that’s why I was surprised when Paul celebrated it as a victory rather than dismissing it as yet another dodge.

Rand Paul was put on the spot. He had not received the letter and a journalist read it to him on air (once). It is pretty difficult to make a considered judgement in such a situation. Maybe he shouldn’t have answered, and maybe he would’ve answered the same anyway, but now he can’t easily take it back.

Fenris on March 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Paul’s fight on this issue from day one was designed to gain some political ground against the President, and it succeeded brilliantly. If the administration now feels the need to back and fill with some equivocations due to a legitimate policy problem, post-cave, that’s fine. But the GOP gained a fresh look from lots of voters because of Paul’s fight, and that’s fantastic.

MTF on March 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

This… I think that we can all assume that Rand Paul was probably against the drone strike by Allawki and would probably want a more restrictive drone policy even against foreigners in Pakistan. A President Paul would be hesitant to use drone strikes in general. He is also a smart politician who knows that these strikes are politically popular. They take out bad guys without risking American lives.

Therefore, he took a hypothetical question that is very hard to argue against – Can the President order essentially an execution of an American citizen without due process on American soil if that person is say an Al Qaeda financer? He used that hypothetical to discuss his broader concerns about drones for 13 hours in highly effective political theatre. Ross Douhat was right in praising the brilliance of Paul’s strategy.. He is arguing against Obama’s drone policy, but he is also nudging the Republican Party and the general public in a certain political direction.. Are we sure that this guy is related to Ron Paul???

Illinidiva on March 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Come on – there is simply no doubt that obama is going to use his drones against Americans, on American soil – this will be necessary if obama is to hold onto power, beyond the end of his second term. When obama finally, officially declares himself “President for Life” in November of 2016, drones will be an integral part of his “peacekeeping” force.

Pork-Chop on March 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM

per the exit question…we have legislated the authority to provide health care to people that don’t have to prove they are citizens that is paid for by people who have no ability to refuse to pay. I’ll hold my own beer and watch this. It shouldn’t take long for it to end.

DanMan on March 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

18 USC § 1119 – Foreign murder of United States nationals

(b) Offense.— A person who, being a national of the United States, kills or attempts to kill a national of the United States while such national is outside the United States but within the jurisdiction of another country shall be punished as provided under sections 1111, 1112, and 1113.

Is all this moot ?

J_Crater on March 11, 2013 at 11:53 AM

“Dear Senator Paul,” Holder said in a 43-word letter. “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.”

It was obvious that they had very, very carefully parsed the words in that question. “The answer to that question is no.” … but there are so many other questions left unanswered, the answers to some of which could very well be “YES”.

I understand the physical limitations of a standing filibuster, and I understand that once you end a filibuster one night there is no guarantee that you will be given the floor again in following days, so continuing the filibuster would have been very difficult to do.

But I would have preferred to see the filibuster maintained until the “Constitutional Law Lecturer”/”Nobel Peace Prize Winner” himself showed up to his former work place (the Senate floor) and answered the questions put to him by Senator Paul.

Are Tea Party participants and veterans of our military suspected by the Department of “Homeland Security” to be “enemy combatants” against the regime? Are we “fair game” to be tracked by drones? If the Supreme Court will not allow puting GPS trackers on cars without a warrant, why does the Obama administration think it is ok to track people by drone without a warrant?

ITguy on March 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Holder didn’t use the phrase “actively attacking.” And administration officials privately agreed on Friday that “not engaged in combat” was the key phrase going forward. None of them agreed to define the expression on the record.

Let’s not be like the linguistics doctoral candidate who considers his thesis on the use and meaning of the word “cat” essential to the intellectual lexicon. Let’s be real “not engaged in combat” is the same as “not actively attacking”. I don’t think even Noam Chomsky would be willing to thread the needle on any distinction in those two phrases while in the court of public opinion.

Now, as to the Exit question, I think I know the answer- If it’s a US citizen on foreign soil, drone his arse. If foreigner on US soil, arrest him, deport him to Yemen then drone his arse!

beselfish on March 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Publicity stunt. Win/win for both Paul and Obama. Paul wows the base that ensures loyalty in the primaries, and Obama still retains the same drone policy.

tommy71 on March 11, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Obama, the lame duck.

albill on March 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Doesn’t due process apply to all persons inside the U.S., not just citizens? I’m sincerely curious to hear him elaborate on the legal framework he has in mind.

Yeah, it does. I’ve argued that at least twice here since the day after the filibuster. The 5th Amendment begins “No person ….”, not “No citizen ….” I wrote Cruz last week explaining that their Bill needed revision.

I was fine with Rand’s focus on citizens in the filibuster and with the “cafe experience”. The former was an effort to focus on the minimalist case to establish the basis for widest agreement, and the latter was righteous hyperbole. The Bill, though, needs to follow procedure of tradition and precedent. The crux of the issue of on American soil is jurisdiction and circumstance, not status.

As for the Administration’s post-obfuscation of the letter, they lose. The terms and definitions of the letter were set by the debate, not some top secret dictionary on Holder’s desk. The Administration complied with both a letter saying “no” and was accepted, as any letter would be, in good faith between honest brokers on both sides. Going back on their word after the fact, arguing subterfuge wouldn’t hold up in a court of public opinion, even if it could in court and the Court of public opinion, not SCOTUS, is the court that matters.

Dusty on March 11, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Let’s be real “not engaged in combat” is the same as “not actively attacking”. I don’t think even Noam Chomsky would be willing to thread the needle on any distinction in those two phrases while in the court of public opinion.

beselfish on March 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Seriously?

From a party who says

“welfare, as opposed to employment, stimulates the economy”

“Bengazi was a spontenous attack because of a video”

Don’t forget the President who makes recess appointments when Congress is not in recess.

Your simply not paying attention selfish.

WisRich on March 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Find something Obama has told the truth about other than “redistribution of wealth” and you will be historic.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

He told the truth when he said he used drugs “enthusiastically”.

And he never said that his drug use had ever ended (for either “pot” or “blow”).

I’d love to see the results of an honest drug test done on Obama’s hair…

ITguy on March 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I’m still thrilled that Paul was able to poddy all over Obama’s absurd charm offensive. And seeing McCain and Graham stamping their feet is proof of it.

BuckeyeSam on March 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM

“Sen. Paul’s 13 hours on the Senate floor won’t have any practical effect on our policy and how we’re going after terrorists on a day-to-day basis,” a senior administration official told Yahoo News on condition of anonymity.

And who gets defined as a “terrorist?” Is it someone who announces they are a member of Al Qaeda, or an affiliated group? What about someone suspected of being such a member? Not to mention, there are many other groups who use terroristic tactics. Can we use a drone strike on an Earth Liberation Front member who is busy setting fire to a house? Is mere membership in the National Rifle Association good enough for a drone strike?

rbj on March 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

If the government can assassinate US citizens on a whim, then there is no right to due process, except when the government decides that it will let you have your little due process “rights.” But, it can take them away whenever it wants and just kill you.

besser tot als rot on March 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Tha you would hold McCain to the same standards…

Skywise on March 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM

The next time any of Obama’s minnions are appearing in front of Congress a real world question needs to be asked, “In the ’60′s, if Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dorhn, who declared war against the American government, were know to be at a certain location, could you use lethal (drone) force against them?”

Tater Salad on March 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Let’s be real “not engaged in combat” is the same as “not actively attacking”. I don’t think even Noam Chomsky would be willing to thread the needle on any distinction in those two phrases while in the court of public opinion.

beselfish on March 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Well, I think Rand Paul took it that way. But the administration has since made it clear that is not what it means.

besser tot als rot on March 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I totally liked Paul’s filibuster. It was done the right way. BZut this makes him look like a useful idiot to the progressive agenda.

astonerii on March 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Let’s be real “not engaged in combat” is the same as “not actively attacking”. I don’t think even Noam Chomsky would be willing to thread the needle on any distinction in those two phrases while in the court of public opinion.

beselfish on March 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Seriously?

From a party who says

“welfare, as opposed to employment, stimulates the economy”

“Bengazi was a spontenous attack because of a video”

Don’t forget the President who makes recess appointments when Congress is not in recess.

Your simply not paying attention selfish.

WisRich on March 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Or more to the point: remember Waco. Lots of people still love Clinton. It may not be Obama, but unless we pushback hard on this, eventually a President will use a drone to kill in the US. There’s really no difference between sending in the tanks other than it’s easier to deny.

Fenris on March 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I’m surprised many are only figuring this out now.
Rand Paul’s 13 hours bought him the cliched 15 minutes.
It had zero impact on drone policy.
Perhaps had he focused on some legitimate and real issues with the program, the administration wouldn’t have the benefit of critics being focused on an irrelevant hypothetical.
His was a sincere yet pointless effort.
I’m amazed folks see it as some sort of springboard to a GOP nomination for president.
(OK…not that amazed.)

verbaluce on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

….let me get this straight, we could declare Obama a terrorist and then…..?

Tater Salad on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

What I mean is, if being a U.S. citizen located in the U.S. means you get maximum due process, …?

Maximum due process? Are you high? If the government can kill you whenever it wants, you don’t have any due process right except the illusion of it.

besser tot als rot on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

If Obama was only a lame duck.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM

“Let me be clear… quack quack.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Obama under oath…”Quack Quack.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Eric Holder under oath:

“Notwithstanding all I have ever said or written we now revise and extend.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM

“Brian Terry” we don’t know no Brian Terry.”

Next Question,,,

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Maximum due process? Are you high? If the government can kill you whenever it wants, you don’t have any due process right except the illusion of it.

And once again, we have a reader who’s not reading the post closely. I’m asking for *Paul’s* preferred due-process matrix. HE wants maximum due process for a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

Allahpundit on March 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

His was a sincere yet pointless effort.
I’m amazed folks see it as some sort of springboard to a GOP nomination for president.
(OK…not that amazed.)

verbaluce on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Not that I’m a big fan of Rand Paul but the fact of the matter is that he stood up to the rat-eared wonder in a way that his Senate GOP colleagues would not. Especially the band of traitors who were noshing with the filthy bastard even as the filibuster was going on. When was the last time that somebody filibustered like that?

But was it pointless? No. Paul brought attention to the issue of using drones against Americans on American soil. Anti-establishment Republicans were emboldened. McCain and Graham came off looking like fools. And all the attention was diverted from the filthy bastard’s so-called charm offensive.

Happy Nomad on March 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Tha you would hold McCain to the same standards…

Skywise on March 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Is this aimed at me? I’m not asking for McCain’s due-process matrix because I don’t think he has one. If you’re in Al Qaeda, the government gets to target you whenever and wherever it wants, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not.

Allahpundit on March 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are not members of the two party evil money cult that now operates outside the rule of law and the constitution in Washington D.C..

We need more non-members of said evil money cult.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I am guessing that the kid that took cupcakes to class with unarmed army men on them would be a target for terrorist assassination.

astonerii on March 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

So, the evidence that a U.S. Citizen is “in Al Qaeda” where is that in the record and who gets to say it is so.

Holder tells Obama and thats all?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Smart move on Paul’s part. Now bring the legislation and dare Dems to vote no. After all, the Attorney General agrees. We have it in writing. Make the Dems/Holder try to wiggle out of it. And make them do it in a very public way.

KCB on March 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

One major RP point was that the Congress has abdicated its constitutional equal power to ANY president.

This is NOT about Obama. This is about the Presidency.

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 12:35 PM

So, the evidence that a U.S. Citizen is “in Al Qaeda” where is that in the record and who gets to say it is so.

Holder tells Obama and thats all?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Probably more like: the rubber stamp tells the bureaucrat.

Fenris on March 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM

And once again, we have a reader who’s not reading the post closely. I’m asking for *Paul’s* preferred due-process matrix. HE wants maximum due process for a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

Allahpundit on March 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Paul’s preferred threat matrix is likely the same for U.S. citizens abroad and foreign nationals in the U.S. He probably has pretty high standards for even targetting foreigners overseas in Pakistan. He isn’t going to mention this (at least not yet) because he is a smart politician unlike his father. Hence, Paul focused on the small hypothetical in order to have a larger debate. Lots of the filibuster focused on the drone programs overseas and Rand Paul’s objections to those.

Illinidiva on March 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Obama’s puppet Holder lies for him.

Same non-news as every other day.

A slim majority of America’s like this.

And approve of these liars in power.

And their lies
.

Since they serve the end of reducing America to a crippled, second-rate power.

The aim of all global progressive socialists.

profitsbeard on March 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM

The CIA hat guy John Kerry he goes into the Pres. office,,,

“Ya know, that guy who funded the Swiftboat Vets, I think he is an Al Qaeda operative drone his ass.”

Obama tells Holder, Holder writes up a report hands it to Obama, Obama tells the NSA , the NSA writes up a report and a home builder in Houston is out on Lake Livenston in his boat.

“Droned”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM

verbaluce on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Wrong. Paul’s filibuster was the first serious Constitutionally-driven volley against troubling corrupt power, never really understood or intended to have an immediate policy effect. But then Holder’s letter seemed to be a response to Paul’s effort, an apparent concession. Now Obama is saying that it wasn’t? Who is the loser here? This only confirms what Paul asserted in the filibuster, and what struck a chord in America. That is, that Obama is duplicitous, capricious and peremptory when it comes not only to the drone matter but — thanks to Paul’s linkage — to the Constitution. Obama cannot be trusted. Power cannot be trusted. This was the larger theme. Obama is now underscoring it.

rrpjr on March 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM

So, the evidence that a U.S. Citizen is “in Al Qaeda” where is that in the record and who gets to say it is so.

Holder tells Obama and thats all?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

You must be kidding. Obama is out golfing or asleep. See Benghazi.

Brennan, Petraeus and other boys (not men) push a few buttons, then blame the protesters and the movie trailer maker. The poor bloke goes to prison and Obama and Hillary get lauded.

Speaking of, this is how Obama Flukes all of America.

O bama
f lukes
A merica

Media, most 100% applaud.

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 12:39 PM

What is a real suprise is how easy the con has worked on people who should be using their brains.

Obama/Holder can not be trusted at all.

Not one thing.

Still yet Americans go about daily thinking things are normal when every lie Obama utters blast the truth out at loud speaker volume.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Allow a liar to lie an inch soon he will be at a mile and reaching your door step soon.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Exit question: … what about a U.S. citizen located overseas (i.e. Awlaki)

I think Paul has said he would have liked the govt to try Awlaki for treason in absentia. Once he’s convicted you can go ahead with the strike.

rndmusrnm on March 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM

And once again, we have a reader who’s not reading the post closely. I’m asking for *Paul’s* preferred due-process matrix. HE wants maximum due process for a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

Allahpundit on March 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Maybe I misunderstood your question. When it comes to unchecked power to assassinate US citizens, there is either due process or there is not. I don’t see how you can have “maximum” or “minimum” due process. Either the government has the power to assassinate you on a whim, or it doesn’t. Either there is due process or there isn’t.

But, the due process could be different based on availability of the target (and, perhaps, location) – e.g., due process could be more like the military tribunal type due process in absentia (such as when hiding in Yemen), or if in the US, the due process would be access to a court.

If that’s what you’re asking, fine – but I think it’s an unnecessary distraction at this point. We need to maximize the advantage (hopefully winning) this battle before moving on to less advantageous fronts – like: “what about Awlaki, who just about everybody wanted dead?”

besser tot als rot on March 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

NEWSFLASH: Was anyone else aware of this?

Brennan, the new CIA Chief, refused to take his oath of office using the Bible. He instead demanded to use / used a copy of the Constitution MINUS the Bill of Rights, to do so. What the….?!

easyt65 on March 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

There back in the tree line is the demon of the true History,

Red Angry Eyes glowing in hot red anger on the lies the lies,

Sitting on a huge black horse with huge hooves with steel hooves,

Dust rising up from the dust of lie made History,

The Demon will come and with fire and anger show the real truth,

Many now know the truth, many have known, more seek the truth,

Near now the ugly roots of the lies grow, reaching done to more evil,

Ever near the Demon of the true History, he comes, fire from the steel hooves, fire from the red angry eyes,,,,,

clop, clop, clop, CLOP, CLOP, CLOP

No one can hide from the real history.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Exit question: What “due process matrix” does Paul have in mind for jihadis based on citizenship and location? What I mean is, if being a U.S. citizen located in the U.S. means you get maximum due process, and if being a foreign citizen who’s located overseas means you get minimal, what about a U.S. citizen located overseas (i.e. Awlaki) or a foreign citizen located here in the U.S.? Do the latter two get some intermediate level of legal protection? Doesn’t due process apply to all persons inside the U.S., not just citizens?

You posit a very good question Allah…

Due process should apply to all pesons within the US whether citizen or not.

We have rules, once caught, the person esp if a non-citizen, is arrested, tried, sentenced, and after the time spent in jail is deported, or under US law can be sentenced to death… unless that persons country of origin protests such a terminal decision, they can be extradited to serve out sentence in the original country of origin…supposing such an extradition law applies.

Obama should NOT be able to just ‘drone’ a person on american soil, without DUE process…

I think a bullet to the head would suffice really…

If the law as it stands isn’t clear enough as to ones rights, then I guess they need to be re-defined.

Obama thinks he can willy nilly do as he pleases, not a care for the law…

As J_Crater on March 11, 2013 at 11:53 AM pointed out, Is all this moot ?

Well is it?

18 USC § 1119 – Foreign murder of United States nationals
(b) Offense.— A person who, being a national of the United States, kills or attempts to kill a national of the United States while such national is outside the United States but within the jurisdiction of another country shall be punished as provided under sections 1111, 1112, and 1113.

Scrumpy on March 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

I was fully expecting an administration memo affirming that if they feel like it they’ll insert a hellfire missile in your hip pocket and if your hip pocket happens to be on a ski lift anywhere in the contiguous United States at the time that’s just for humor value because the moonbats in charge use our most precious documents to save on Charmin.

Speakup on March 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Speakup on March 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

The price of Charmin has been a little high recently. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact we’re living in a banana republic which hasn’t had a legal budget for four years, on this day: March 11.

Fenris on March 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I’m shocked that Obama didn’t drone-goof at the Gridiron.

The oaf goofed lots on the sequester, in his whitey best.

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Only one thing is sure as the sun coming up.

Obama has and will lie.

Judge him on facts only.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Wrong. Paul’s filibuster was the first serious Constitutionally-driven volley against troubling corrupt power, never really understood or intended to have an immediate policy effect. But then Holder’s letter seemed to be a response to Paul’s effort, an apparent concession. Now Obama is saying that it wasn’t? Who is the loser here? This only confirms what Paul asserted in the filibuster, and what struck a chord in America. That is, that Obama is duplicitous, capricious and peremptory when it comes not only to the drone matter but — thanks to Paul’s linkage — to the Constitution. Obama cannot be trusted. Power cannot be trusted. This was the larger theme. Obama is now underscoring it.rrpjr on March 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM

You have it in one!

There was much more to Pauls’ filibuster, and now here comes 0 with his mealy mouth saying it wasn’t?

He is scuttling his ship, and I hope all who are on it go down with the Captain!!

Scrumpy on March 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Goebbels orgasmed again. His most Utopian dreams are all realized.

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Obama has and will lie.

Judge him on facts only.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Obama lies whenever he speaks, even with the prompter. He did tell the truth once, two Fridays ago, when at his presser he said “the people have suffered in the last four years”. That he didn’t even realize that he was president in those years tells you all you need to know about him.

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

This is probably true, but the fact that Paul forced them to PUT IT IN WRITING means that there will be a LOT of hell for The Regime to pay if and when they drone someone inside the US.

It’s going to happen, and it is obvious this is a power The Regime does claim, which is why they sent Holder out a week prior to declare that they DID have that power.

All Holder did in his letter was admit that doing so would be Unconstitutional. In Obama’s world he’ll do whatever he wants and as to being Unconstitutional his policy is “try and stop me”.

Because so far no one HAS stopped him. His illegal non recess appointments still sit in office. His illegal NLRB appointees still hold office and are still ruling against business, despite courts striking it down as illegal.

wildcat72 on March 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

what about a U.S. citizen located overseas (i.e. Awlaki) or a foreign citizen located here in the U.S.? Do the latter two get some intermediate level of legal protection? Doesn’t due process apply to all persons inside the U.S., not just citizens? I’m sincerely curious to hear him elaborate on the legal framework he has in mind.

Both Paul and the law are pretty clear on who is afforded Constitutional protections. It is only covered persons, which means US Citizens. Also keep in mind the US Code has some pretty clear explanations on how your citizenship is revoked based on certain acts or conditions.

Paul was also clear that people located overseas, irrespective of citizenship, engaged in terrorist activities were subject to a drone strike and covered under the purview of presidential authority. Ditto domestic perpetrators believed to pose an imminent threat. Nobodies arguing that- only you with a straw man argument.

There has in fact been numerous cases of domestic terrorists or people designated terrorists because of their plots, being tried and convicted in US Courts. No “drone strike” because the threat was not imminent. Other US Citizens such as that POS Lindh were captured overseas and given due process (may he rot in jail).

This type of speculation might be fun and good for a few blog hits. But it’s foolish and uninformed on the facts.

Marcus Traianus on March 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

NEWSFLASH: Was anyone else aware of this?

Brennan, the new CIA Chief, refused to take his oath of office using the Bible. He instead demanded to use / used a copy of the Constitution MINUS the Bill of Rights, to do so. What the….?!

[easyt65 on March 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM]

Please. Your characterization of the situation is ridiculous. He didn’t refuse. It’s his choice of what to use. So, he didn’t demand he told them his preference. Now as to whether he purposely chose one without a Bill of Rights or not, it might be funny embarrassing or even aggravating, but he still sore to uphold the Constitution that exists which is the one with all the Amendments to date.

Dusty on March 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Brennan, the new CIA Chief, refused to take his oath of office using the Bible. He instead demanded to use / used a copy of the Constitution MINUS the Bill of Rights, to do so. What the….?!

easyt65 on March 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Yes, we are aware.

1. He doesn’t have to use the bible.

2. He and all around him displayed incredible stupidity by omitting the Bill of Rights from his oath.

This had meaning, not so much in the legal sense…however it demonstrates what a bunch of nitwits are in charge. Still Brennan, the muzzie lover, Hagel, Kerry and Biden are the grown ups when they surround Obama.

It’s no wonder the world laughs at the dying USA.

The fools are the people.

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Obama’s “joke” at the correspondents dinner last week about Ted Cruz and “communists” in his Cabinet was a self-innoculation against possible criticism that’s coming.

….and the demonization of Cruz begins as “an extremist”.

side note: D.C. Evil Money cult…….I like that term. Nice.

PappyD61 on March 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM

“…but he still sore to uphold the Constitution that exists which is the one with all the Amendments to date.” Yeah, so is Obama, but we all know how THAT has gone….

easyt65 on March 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

cmsinaz, if you’re still reading and leaving comments here, can you please drop me a note at hawkcontractor@gmail.com?

hawkdriver on March 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Not sure about Pauls legal strategy. Does make it a wee bit tougher for hin when he is up against the Blue Team however.

Bmore on March 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Thinking that Obama is going to tell the truth is just as dumb as thinking that the “Gypsie Home Repair Scam Creeps” will fix your roof.

So, he is herby re-named “First Gypsie Traveler President of the U.S.A.”.

Example: There are gaping holes in the Mexican/U.S. border, does any one think the Gypsie-in-Chief will fix those holes?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

hin=him

Bmore on March 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

[rrpjr on March 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM]

I agree and well said. The way I see it, and this occurred to me when reading the Trump/Fox and Friends HL thread, his filibuster did have impact, and while it does not rise to the level of The Declaration of Independence, it does fall into that class as it’s features do resemble those of Declaration, including the argument for the path forward, small and narrow though it is on the subject matter.

Dusty on March 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM

William Ayers, sat on the board of the Woods Fund with Obama and is a professor at the University of Chicago.

Bill Ayers, along with his wife Bernadine Dohrn, was an active member of the Weather Underground, a radical left-wing group that advocated violence against the United State.

Both Ayers and Dohrn went “underground” in 1970 after others in the group accidentally detonated a bomb in a Greenwich Village (New York City) townhouse. The blast killed three of the group’s members including Ayers’ girlfriend at the time.

While Ayers and Dohrn were hiding from law enforcement, the Weather Underground participated in the bombings of the US Capital, the Pentagon and a State Department building.

In 1981 Ayers and Dohrn turned themselves in to federal authorities, but all charges were dropped as a result of alleged “government legal misconduct.” In his 2001 memoir, Ayers wrote, “I don’t regret setting the bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Ayers and Dohrn are known to have held at least one fundraiser for Barack Obama in their Chicago home.

During Obama’s last year on the board of The Woods Fund (2002), he participated in awarding grants, including a $70,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, a Chicago-based group founded by Rashid and Mona Khalidi.

In another suspected quid pro quo arrangement similar to those with Ayers and Rezko, Rashid Khalidi also held a fundraising event in his home for Barack Obama.

In the Middle East, Rashid Khalidi was known as a man to be reckoned with. From 1972 through 1983, Khalidi was the director in Beirut of the official Palestinian press agency, FAFA. His wife worked there as well.

According to sources, when the Khalidi’s left Chicago for Columbia University in New York, Rashid was honored with the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies at that Ivy League university. Their goodbye party in Chicago included testimonials from Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.

People who should be ‘droned’ in my opinion… /s

Scrumpy on March 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Bmore :)

Schadenfreude on March 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Paul wants to narrow the definition of “enemy combatant” for American citizens so that, if they’re here in the U.S., they receive some form of due process that a foreign jihadi overseas wouldn’t.

So Osama Bin Laden’s son wasn’t a foreign jihadi overseas? Why is he in New York right now?

Obama wants to try and convict terrorists we bring here from overseas, but wants to be able to drone Americans in America.

cptacek on March 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

^son in law. My mistake.

cptacek on March 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Schadenfreude ; )

Bmore on March 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Going back on their word after the fact, arguing subterfuge wouldn’t hold up in a court of public opinion, even if it could in court and the Court of public opinion, not SCOTUS, is the court that matters.

Dusty on March 11, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Perhaps in some fantasy ‘democracy’, the “court of public opinion” is the court that matters – but NOT in our Republic. The only place the court of public opinion holds sway is in the voting booths during an election.
Any other time, SCOTUS does have the “last word”; whether it appeals to or agrees with ‘public opinion’ or not.
You might recall the obamacare ‘penalty’ which, magically, became a “tax” – flying in the face of “public opinion”.

Solaratov on March 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I’m surprised many are only figuring this out now.

Rand Paul’s 13 hours bought him the cliched 15 minutes.

It had zero impact on drone policy.

Perhaps had he focused on some legitimate and real issues with the program, the administration wouldn’t have the benefit of critics being focused on an irrelevant hypothetical.

His was a sincere yet pointless effort.

I’m amazed folks see it as some sort of springboard to a GOP nomination for president.

(OK…not that amazed.)

verbaloon on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

The various reactions to his filibuster-from both sides of the political aisle-prove that (as usual) you have no idea what the getalife you’re talking about.

Incomplete.

Del Dolemonte on March 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

what about a U.S. citizen located overseas (i.e. Awlaki) or a foreign citizen located here in the U.S.?

He’s explained this.

1. A U.S Citizen overseas – depends on their level of activity. Awlaki was not a question, because we knew he was actively involved. His son, though, had no direct information disseminated. Rand’s point is if the CIA had proof the kid was involved in something direct, why haven’t they released it? Deduction says they did not have anything to corroborate but killed him due to the company he kept.

2. A foreign citizen in the U.S – Consider the green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan. If that happened stateside, in a Fort Hood scenario, how many options do you have before the drone? If there is no other option, then use it.

What he doesn’t want is for typical federal shortcuts and anxiety to start making these decisions.

Paul is not out in peacenikville with Ron. He’s much closer to Reagan than Clinton and certainly W. The question he needs to be asked is about the Gulf War. I have an idea, but that would be the most interesting.

budfox on March 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Brennan, the new CIA Chief, refused to take his oath of office using the Bible. He instead demanded to use / used a copy of the Constitution MINUS the Bill of Rights, to do so. What the….?!

easyt65 on March 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I read about that. He used George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution, with notes in GW’s own hand – but without the Bill of Rights.
I never heard of anyone being sworn in on a copy of the Constitution – antique or not.
Maybe Brennan thought it might be a bit too ‘controversial’ to be sworn in on a copy of the koran.

Solaratov on March 11, 2013 at 1:50 PM

So you mean the administration had a domestic drone policy? I thought Paul filibustered precisely because we didn’t know what that policy was, and that it might have included targeting citizens on our soil.

Free Constitution on March 11, 2013 at 2:06 PM

If the government accuses an American citizens of being an “enemy combatant” they have to prove their case in front of an impartial jury of the suspects peers in accordance with the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

FloatingRock on March 11, 2013 at 2:06 PM

That just means they didn’t have a “policy” until Paul’s fillibuster forced them to commit to one.

tommyboy on March 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

No. They DO have a policy. Just not what Paul, you and I think it is or should be as dictated by the Constitution.

riddick on March 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

The simple fact is that Rand Paul doesn’t support drone attacks anywhere.

Those who are falling all over themselves to gush over him now are in for a rude awakening down the road. His foreign policy is in no particular distinguishable from that of his father.

Adjoran on March 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Before the government can declare an American citizen an “enemy combatant” and strip away their rights they have to prove their case in front of an impartial jury of the suspects peers in accordance with the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Clarified

FloatingRock on March 11, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Adjoran on March 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Care to offer any proof of your accusation? I haven’t seen any.

FloatingRock on March 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM

March 7,2013

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) today introduced legislation to prohibit drone killings of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil if they do not represent an imminent threat.

“Our Constitution restrains government power,” Cruz said. “The federal government may not use drones to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil if they do not represent an imminent threat. The Commander in Chief does, of course, have the power to protect Americans from imminent attack, and nothing in this legislation interferes with that power.”

Key bill text:

The Federal Government may not use a drone to kill a citizen of the United States who is located in the United States. The prohibition under this subsection shall not apply to an individual who poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to another individual. Nothing in this section shall be construed to suggest that the Constitution would otherwise allow the killing of a citizen of the United States in the United States without due process of law.

fight like a girl on March 11, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Ted Cruz will not back down.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Senior administration official: Holder’s letter to Rand Paul implies no change to our drone policy

Then why didn’t the administration just answer the question when it was first asked?

fight like a girl on March 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The longer he stands on the soapbox, the longer he looks teh crazy.

He was right to take the small victory.

sgmstv on March 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

I totally liked Paul’s filibuster. It was done the right way. BZut this makes him look like a useful idiot to the progressive agenda.

astonerii on March 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

No it was a brilliant idea. He is going not really after Obama, but after the Senate democrats. Now they will be forced to either accept or kill a bill on restrictions on drones in America. If they vote for it, that will pit them against Obama, if they vote against it will pit them against their own base, plus make them look bad before the majority of Americans.

Americans have no problem killing folks outside the country who are not US citizens and fighting the US, but Americans inside America is something most won’t like. Plus it brings up sorts of other issues for the Dems. Are they saying we must ban guns to protect the American people but yet the government will be allowed to assassinate Americans in America without due process?

Paul is also making this about the constitution and everything in it. Which is always good. Plus it keeps the Dems in the Senate and Obama busy, which will mean less time for them to think up other stupid stuff. That is why you must always attack in politics. This was a surprise offensive the Dems were not ready for.

William Eaton on March 11, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Comment pages: 1 2