U.S. Senator Rand Paul still intends to try to block John Brennan’s nomination as CIA Director until he answers a simple question about drone strikes on American soil.
Paul, a libertarian-oriented Republican and medical doctor, wants the administration to come clean as to whether it believes it has the authority to order such domestic drone strikes. Brennan has not responded to Sen. Rand’s question to date. Paul says he is raising serious constitutional issues, but the Obama administration has stonewalled.
The senator noted that the president has said he has no “intention” of deploying drones in America, but Rand said that leaves the administration way too much wiggle room.
Paul has previous stated that he will do “whatever it takes” to delay the Brennan confirmation until the nominee answers whether Americans can legally be killed by drone strikes inside the United States.
The controversy that seems to have united both the left and the right to some degree about foreign and domestic drone strikes came to a head recently when a document (the so-called Kill Americans memo) was leaked to NBC News. This memo indicated the Obama administration claimed it has the legal authority to use drones to kill American citizens anywhere in the world without the benefit of legal counsel or due process.
Paul wants Brennan, and by extension the president, to disavow any drone strikes within US borders. He explained his position on FNC:
“The idea that you get a trial before a jury and a judge if you’re accused of a crime is something that we’ve had in our history through English history and US history for 800 years. It is a very important part of the Bill of Rights due process. So what we’re talking about is not killing someone with a grenade launcher on their shoulder. We’re talking about someone eating at a cafe in Boston, or in New York, and a Hellfire missile comes raining in on them.
“There should be an easy answer from the administration on this. They should say, ‘Absolutely no, we will not kill Americans in America without an accusation, a trial and a jury.’ And I’m not talking about people engaged in lethal force. I’m talking about people city in a cafe having coffee. People like this are being killed around the world. We should not be doing this in America.”
Do you think Sen. Paul is correct in demanding answers regarding to drone strikes on persons within the US who are not actively engaging in violent terrorist acts?