Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky and namesake of Libertarian founder Ayn Rand, had a 6-hour hissy fit yesterday in the Senate. He decided to hold his own old fashioned filibuster of CIA director nominee Brenner’s confirmation hearing, and the subject was drones over America.
See, Rand Paul sent a letter of inquiry to Attorney General Holder asking him whether President Obama was empowered to launch a drone strike against an American citizen on American soil. A fairly open-ended question to say the least. Holder responded with a solid “yes.”
To which Paul took great umbrage and started sputtering over killing Jane Fonda or noncombatants in Houston.
But Holder’s point, given the latitude of Paul’s question, which was as big as Texas, is that the President, as Commander-in-Chief of all US military forces, does have the power to go after an enemy combatant anywhere in the world, including in America. Even if the enemy combatant is an American. Not to say so would be to give an enemy combatant bent on killing Americans a free pass just because they are on American soil. Given a situation where there is no scenario given at all, yes, the President has that power.
Now we still have Miranda, and we still have a right to a trial by a jury of peers, so this is obviously a very remote possibility. To think otherwise, that drones with hellfire missiles are the new thing in domestic law enforcement, is silliness. Paul knows better, he just likes to shoot off his mouth.