Holder: US has no authority to kill Americans with drones on US soil

by Justin Sink - The Hill  |  published on March 8, 2013

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The U.S. does not have the authority to use a drone attack against a U.S. citizen not engaged in combat on U.S. soil, Attorney General Eric Holder told Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in a Thursday letter.

White House press secretary Jay Carney revealed the letter at his Thursday press briefing. It was sent in response to a 13-hour filibuster Paul held on the Senate floor Wednesday to criticize the administration’s drone policy.

“The president has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil,” Carney said.

Reading from the Holder letter to Paul, Carney said: “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. The answer to that question is no.”

Paul said Thursday afternoon that he was dropping his objection to a vote on Brennan as a result of the Holder letter, clearing the path for Brennan’s confirmation Thursday.

“I’m very pleased to have gotten this response back from the Attorney General of the United States,” Paul said on the floor. “To me I think the entire battle was worthwhile.”

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