- Revelation 13:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
- OBAMA CAN KILL AMERICANS ON US SOIL WITHOUT DUE PROCESS?
by Wendy McElroy, http://dollarvigilante.com/
On March 5th, a headline in the left-leaning Mother Jones declared, “Obama Administration Says President Can Use Lethal Force Against Americans on US Soil.” A letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to Republican Senator Rand Paul was the cause. (A screenshot of the full letter is here.) Rand had written to John Brennan, the current nominee for Director of the CIA, to ask whether the president can kill American citizens through the drone strike program on US soil without due process. Brennan requested Holder to address legal aspects of the question, which Obama and his administration have hitherto refused to answer. Holder’s March 4 letter may have broken the silence because Rand threatened to filibuster Brennan’s nomination if there was no response. (Indeed, Rand was filibustering as I wrote this article.)
Conservatives and libertarians are enraged by Holder’s letter; liberals offer a mixed reaction. An admin at the left-leaning Daily Kos site, for example, blasts Mother Jones for inaccuracy. Others claim the Presidential power is nothing new and Holder’s comments are unexceptional. Teasing out the truth means deconstructing the letter.
This letter was written and vetted with meticulous care. Holder did not misstate his position. The letter’s vague and non-responsive nature is deliberate and its few specifics are revealing.
Holder opens with an assurance: “[T]he US government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. As a policy matter moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat.” [All words in bold are emphasis added]
Obama did not even disclose the existence of a drone program on American soil until his hand was forced; the memos upon which the program’s legal authority is based remain secret. This non-transparency makes it impossible to assess Obama’s intentions, and reduces Holder’s position to “trust us.” The words “as a policy matter” are significant because the use of military force instead of law enforcement is dismissed strictly as policy, not on grounds of law or the Constitution. Policies change constantly and often without notice. Moreover, given the extreme militarization of US law enforcement, complete with police drones, it is strange to reassure Americans that they would be killed by law enforcement and not the military. The distinction does obviate some legal questions, however. For example, it bypasses any lingering shred of the Posse Comitatus Act, which limits the power of a President to use the federal military to enforce law.