I'm going to beat Unseen to this one!

So Eric Holder in a recent Congressional hearing has left the door open to preforming a drone strike against terrorists on American soil in an "extraordinary circumstance."

From CNN:
"Attorney General Eric Holder is not entirely ruling out a scenario under which a drone strike would be ordered against Americans on U.S. soil, but says it has never been done previously and he could only see it being considered in an extraordinary circumstance.

He began to winnow the list of those possible extraordinary circumstances Wednesday. In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Holder whether he believed it would be constitutional to target an American terror suspect 'sitting at a cafe' if the suspect didn't pose an imminent threat.

'No,' Holder replied."

Given the fact that there are people out there who want to kill us, who want to die for their cause, and who label themselves as an enemy to America, do you think that they Attorney General makes a valid point? Might there be some circumstance where a drone strike is the best option to prevent even more loss of life including that of law enforcement? Is he just plain wrong and this can't be permitted at all? As Senator Paul is now filibustering on the Senate floor and making the point, is there zero room for a lethal military/law enforcement drone strike on an individual? Might there still be a comparison with the use of lethal force by a police officer to a person that is known to be armed, dangerous, and looking to kill?

Tags: Congress, Constitution, Drone, Eric, Holder, law, strikes

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They already used one to track down Christopher Dorner I believe for snuffing some pigs.

@ Nate,

I read this;

One obvious extraordinary time when "We the People" allowed this kind of thing was during the civil war when the president had authority to order military strikes against US citizens on US soil even if they didn't think they were US citizens anymore. They were the ones to declare their enemy status and take actions demonstrating that they were really being an enemy of the United States of America.

and my jaw dropped.

But then I read this:

Terrorists or other kinds of enemies of the United States or humanity in general may appear on paper to be citizens of the planet but when they unequivocally demonstrate that they are active and current mortal enemies of US citizens or other humans that deserve their right to a safe life also, those enemies sadly but correctly and justly cease to have the right to life or liberty.

and threw my shoe against the wall.

But then I read this:

Call me naive

couldn't have said it better myself.

Recommanded reading:

1984 by George Orwell. Here.

George OrwellWikipedia: Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and journalist.

US citizens do have the right to due process - regardless of crime.  Even those accused of treason are to have their day in court rather than to be incriminated and killed without a trial.

@Nate,

You might think what I'm about to say is rude, while it is stark, it is only rude if you perceive it in that way.

Start with learning about the Civil War, most importantly the conditions that lead up to the war, and you will see why your first post was so shocking.

Next read the Federalist Papers.  If you need to reacquaint yourself with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights then do so.  Get to know the Founding Fathers, they were called terrorists and enemies by the existing government of their time.

Nate being naive about the history of this nation will leave you and others unprepared for the future challenges that you all will surely face. 

My son's friends have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, my friends in Nam, my uncle's in Korea, my Dad's in Europe and the Pacific.  During my fathers time we fought for freedom and liberty, somehow we have progressed to fighting for Empire.

Nate you have countenanced the firing of missiles from American aircraft onto American soil.  Tyranny doesn't come from outside, it raises up from within, but it needs the type of help you provide.

Nate, no one will steal your freedom and liberty, you will simply just give it away, and that saddens me.

This is where I find myself agreeing with Gregg.

It worries me greatly. Having watched 1984 I see so many comparisons to how our government is heading. It is no longer We the People who make decisions. I watched the filibuster. I listened to points made. What constitutes a terrorist? Some would say is those who don't support their government. How open is the government to questioning? Not very if our past is anything to go by. I see the drones as a very bad thing. It dehumanizes the target. In conflict we must remember we are all human. There are times you do need to take a life. I believed though you must remember it is a life. These are my thoughts on the drones

I agree with you on this, I think drones dehumanises the society as a whole not just the target. 

Agreed we shouldn't. Just because we have the technology doesn't mean we have right to use it.

No. Drones should not be used on American soil.

Nor should they be used anywhere.

Reducing war to a video game will only increase our tendency to resort to violence that much more.

Violence should always have a cost in human lives on both sides so that we eventually come to our senses and realize why it should be a last resort and not the first reaction.

Violence should always have a cost in human lives on both sides so that we eventually come to our senses and realize why it should be a last resort and not the first reaction.

I think the President would have a pretty hard time of it if he tried to tell the parents of returning dead soldiers, "I could have spared their lives by using a drone, but you know violence should always have a cost in human lives on both sides so that we eventually come to our senses and realize why it should be a last resort and not the first reaction."

"Prevent violence in every way humanly possible". Interesting. How about lobotomising infants at birth, if that was proven to work would you support that ?

My flip point aside Nate in relation to your above two posts you do not mention oversight, any government with a power requires oversight, i would have thought the history of your own country has shown this. What is an "an exceptional circumstance" exactly. please define what a Terrorist really is because one could define those early North american colonists who picked up as terrorist at one time. The US definition of terrorist is so wide it includes people concerned with the environment while letting corporate terrorist off free and clear

I am sure there are politicians who have to OCCASIONALLY take some very hard decisions but the danger to us all lays in the use of this "national security" blanket to hide heaven knows what. IF our leaders and politicians are truly worthy of us then they have to have the courage to defend their actions in a criminal court and let the scales of the law decide if what they did was exceptional enough or if they did in fact exceed their authority and then subject to the same laws as their subjects.

I don't believe that anybody, except in the course of a legally and morally justified war, should be deprived of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without due process of law, citizen or not.  

If, after due process has taken its course and it is determined that execution is appropriate, I don't really care whether it's accomplished by lethal injection or a drone.  Dead is dead!

That being said, I, unlike most theists, am a strong opponent of the death penalty, so I believe that, as a practical matter,  the only context in which a drone killing is justified is in a defensive confrontation with an actual enemy who is engaged in attempting to kill me or my family.  If my government is going to tell me that some American wearing a turban in the middle east is an existential threat to me, I would demand at least a modicum of evidence that this is so.  Assurance from the CIA or the President does not meet that requirement for me.  

Finally, if it is okay for the U.S. to go into a sovereign non-combatant country to kill people there, then we should not be outraged when they do the same thing to us, like on 9/11.

Bottom line: when Islamic fanatics killed 3,000 Americans to further their agenda it was wrong.  When we choose to kill people in Pakistan to further ours, it is also wrong.  The notion that we are "exceptional" Americans does not justify actions that are morally and legally wrong, any more than the actions of the 9/11 terrorists would be justified because they were Saudi Arabians.  What part of "Thou shalt not kill" do you theists not agree with?   

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