Earlier today, Glenn said that Rand Paul would be breaking “the biggest story of our lifetime” today. While Senator Paul wasn’t able to reveal the information on radio, TheBlaze staff followed the story and revealed today that Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter to Sen. Paul that the President could authorize a drone strike on an American citizen on U.S. soil.
The letter from Holder read “the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial”.
“This is some of the most frightening stuff I have seen yet from our government,” Glenn said.
Senator Paul has been pursuing this issue for weeks and has written multiple letters to CIA nominee John Brennan and Eric Holder.
“I have to tell you, if this doesn’t wake people up, good luck to you,” Glenn added.
TheBlaze’s Billy Hallowell reported (and has copies of the letters):
In a response dated March 4, 2013, Holder wrote that the U.S. government “has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so.” The attorney general went on to note that federal officials believe that in areas where there is “well-established law enforcement,” these officials serve as the preferred mode of handling terrorist threats; military options inside U.S. borders are, thus, “rejected.”
“We have a long history of using the criminal justice system to incapacitate individuals located in our country who pose a threat to the United States and its interests abroad,” the letter reads. “Hundreds of individuals have been arrested and convicted of terrorism-related offenses in our federal courts.”
While this would likely set at ease anyone worried about the potential use of drones on U.S. land, Holder doesn’t conclude there. It is the next section of the letter that is the most contentious, as it leaves the door open for potential action in the event of large-scale terror attacks or other monumental disturbances.
“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront,” the letter continues. “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”
Holder said that the president could be faced with such a situation (“to authorize the military to use such force”) if the need to protect the nation arose during an attack similar to Pearl Harbor or 9/11.
“Were such an emergency to arise, I would examine the particular facts and circumstances before advising the President on the scope of his authority,” he concludes.