Responding to the 13-hour filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), Attorney General Eric Holder today sent a letter to Paul clarifying that the United States can’t use drones to kill Americans who are not engaged in combat.
The letter in its entirety states:
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 is no.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney read it today from the podium.
Paul’s filibuster was provoked by a previous letter from Holder which was less clear about the terms under which the administration could use lethal force against Americans in the United States.
Paul received backing from many conservative Republicans, but he was belittled by some moderates in the Party, particularly Sens. John McCain of Arizona and his sidekick, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.