Obama administration shifts position on domestic drone use

You can thank Sen. Rand Paul for forcing the issue. Attorney General Eric Holder has written a letter to Sen. Paul that changes the position of the Obama administration on using drones to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil:

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.”

The new letter from Holder is a slight shift in position from an earlier letter he sent to Paul last week. In that letter, Holder said it was unlikely the U.S. would use a drone attack against in American in the U.S., but that it was possible in response to a September 11, 2001-type attack.

Score 1 for those who believe that the federal government should not have the authority to knock-off U.S. citizens with a drone.

Here is the letter that Eric Holder sent to Rand Paul:

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