Skip to comments.Obama Administration Says President Can Use Lethal Force Against Americans on US Soil
Posted on 03/05/2013 6:13:35 PM PST by nickcarraway
Yes, the president does have the authority to use military force against American citizens on US soilbut only in "an extraordinary circumstance," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday.
"The US Attorney General's refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening," Paul said Tuesday. "It is an affront the constitutional due process rights of all Americans."
Last month, Paul threatened to filibuster the nomination of John Brennan, Obama's pick to head the CIA, "until he answers the question of whether or not the president can kill American citizens through the drone strike program on US soil." Tuesday, Brennan told Paul that "the agency I have been nominated to lead does not conduct lethal operations inside the United Statesnor does it have any authority to do so." Brennan said that the Justice Department would answer Paul's question about whether Americans could be targeted for lethal strikes on US soil.
Holder's answer was more detailed, however, stating that under certain circumstances, the president would have the authority to order lethal attacks on American citizens. The two possible examples of such "extraordinary" circumstances were the attack on Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. An American president ordering the use of lethal military force inside the United States is "entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront," Holder wrote. Here's the bulk of the letter:
As members of this administration have previously indicated, the 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. 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. Hundreds of individuals have been arrested and convicted of terrorism-related offenses in our federal courts.
The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront. 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. For example, the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances like a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
The letter concludes, "were such an emergency to arise, I would examine the particular facts and circumstances before advising the president of the scope of his authority."
In a Google+ Hangout last month, President Obama refused to say directly if he had the authority to use lethal force against US citizens. As Mother Jones reported at the time, the reason the president was being so coy is that the answer was likely yes. Now we know that's exactly what was happening. "Any use of drone strikes or other premeditated lethal force inside the United States would raise grave legal and ethical concerns," says Raha Wala, an attorney with Human Rights First. "There should be equal concern about using force overseas."
This post has been edited to include Paul's statement and the final line of Holder's letter.
Mother Jones would have had a hissy fit if this was under Bush. At that, they freaked at the conspiracy that Bush was planning something like this. But with Bo, all is well.
But Boooooooooooosh was a war criminal!
But Boooooooooooosh was a war criminal!
Looks like we are heading to the next stage on schedule.
I’m not a dictator...but I’m getting there!
Bold, sure, but then again after the ENTIRE MSM let him off after killing over 300 poor, brown Mexicans in Fast and Furious, how could he NOT go around slinging this kind of arrogance...?
What OTHER STUFF have we not yet heard...?
1.6 billion rounds, 3,000 MRAPs and weekly MOUT ops in REAL American cities:
IT IS ALLLLLL OK WITH THE LIBERAL US MEDIA.
I was just watching one of the new military “Global force for good” ads and I’m wondering if anyone knows anything about the legality of “I will Obey the orders of anyone appointed over me”.
Like - for example - a circumstance in which the President might be about to have the work of his whole time in office tipped into the rubbish bin due to the discovery that he does not meet the legal eligability requirements to serve as Chief Executive.
As do we have the authority to use any means to prevent tyranny by the forces of government
Behold the real President of the country, the ultimate source of all laws and the most supreme judge of all events.
The Attorney General says there “might be” cases where the President has the right (?) to kill Americans - without a warrant or arrest or trial or due process or any warning (?) on American soil ... then lists two very specific cases (Pearl Harbor and 9/11) where FOREIGNERS were attacking Americans on US soil without warning as an act of war!
So, has the president declared war on America?
I mean, we know he IS fighting a decades-long war against American values, American freedom and the American economy, but does this mean he has finally decided it is time to declare that he is doing it?
There’s no telling how many Americans they have killed in our homeland already. The devils imp and his minions have taken over our country.
You guys are all wet. Don’t you remember the last sentence of the constitution? Something about if the president is a black, communist, moslem none of the proceeding stuff applies.
Seems like a fallback plan is necessary once they start openly raiding homes searching for guns (that is, raiding innocents without due process). Hide the important ones. Of course this warning isn't for those who lost their guns in boating accidents, they likely have none to turn over. (If you can't link these two last sentences you're on your own.)
What goes around....
Obummer the Warmonger and his Cuomonista have the legal option of a pre-emptive strike which is legal for all parties
“The last time a president did that, we had a civil war.”
Didn’t Eisenhower nationalize the Arkansas National Guard in 1957 and use military force to enforce a court order that black students should attend a formerly white school?
problem is they didn’t have the tracking and ability to engage from drones in cwi.
people need to start thinking about a plan omega.
Beware of the distraction FReepers!
He does not need the “military.” You local law enforcement will do just fine with ordered drone strikes from the DHS.
You weren’t supposed to notice that...
He does fancy himself a modern Lincoln...
Impeachment File for Benghazi-Coward B. Hussein Obama.
To put it mildly. The leftards would have called it treasonous and demanded Bush be impeached, convicted and stand for public execution.
“...but only in ‘an extraordinary circumstance......”
Then it will work both ways.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Bush didn't reelect Obozo.
The first test strike target will probably be some random playground.
Hey Eric - do we get to return the favor? Thought not...
You forgot the thousands of drones they want. Enough to keep patrols 24x7 over all major, even minor population centers.
Realistically, seriously? Yes, it is quite possible and believable he and his cohorts in crime are looking for any excuse to expand their power to total control.
Point taken. He sent in the 101st Airborne and "placed the Arkansas National Guard under federal control" according to Wikipedia. Sounds a bit more temporary than "nationalizing" the National Guard.
However, a few years later at Kent State, the Guard killed just one student protester, and the outcry was nearly as bad as the assassination of JFK. It's not something a president should prepare for. One gets the feeling this Admin is rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of a mass genocide of flyover people, if their enormous stockpiling of ammunition, firearms and tanks are any indication.
Domestic drones and speed cameras everywhere, “Person of Interest” too close to home.
“Didnt Eisenhower nationalize the Arkansas National Guard in 1957 and use military force to enforce a court order that black students should attend a formerly white school?”
That’s a far cry from using the military to attack and kill Americans doing no harm. Try again.
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you!
This could well be the end of Obama. Wait until he blows up Fox News or Sarah Palin’s House or the Texas Governor’s Mansion. CW II may well be coming. Obama wants to be like Lincoln—he just better stay away from theaters if he starts a civil War.
Thousands of drones... You know, now all those millions of rounds of ammunition ordered by the government make sense now. The drones won't just have cameras on them.
Thanks Robert A. Cook, PE, additional:
Holder: Obama could order lethal force in U.S.
Politico44 A Living Diary of the Obama Presidenc | 3/5/13 | JOSH GERSTEIN
Posted on 03/05/2013 2:35:12 PM PST by ColdOne
Anyone here remember what the Bonus Marches were?
The second American Civil War...Shove your socialism Obama!!
Yes, perhaps one where some 8 year-old kid has drawn a chalk picture of a gun on the blacktop.
“Thats a far cry from using the military to attack and kill Americans doing no harm.”
But it does indicate that “the last time a president did that”, we did not have a civil war, which is what I was trying to do.
To do what?