Today, following a historic 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor that ended early this morning, Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, received correspondence from the White House regarding the legality and constitutionality of the U.S. government using lethal force, including drone strikes, on Americans and in U.S. territory. Sen. Paul's repeated correspondence to President Obama's nominee to be CIA director, John Brennan, was finally answered today, in part, with the following response from Attorney General Eric Holder: "'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no."
"This is a major victory for American civil liberties and ensures the protection of our basic Constitutional rights. We have Separation of Powers to protect our rights. That's what government was organized to do and that's what the Constitution was put in place to do," Sen. Paul said. "I would like to congratulate my fellow colleagues in both the House and Senate and thank them for joining me in protecting the rights of due process."
The Attorney General
March 7, 2013
The Honorable Rand Paul
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Paul:
It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no.
/s/ Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Read more: Holder’s original position on this question