The use of unmanned drones to take out terrorists overseas is one of the few issues that has managed to drive a wedge between President Obama and some of his most staunch supporters. (Code Pink members even hung up their vagina suits in favor of black grim reaper robes to protest.) Revelations that the administration considered Americans on foreign soil valid targets drove even more into fits. So, how about American citizens on American soil? Attorney General Eric Holder told Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was using John Brennan’s confirmation vote as leverage to elicit more information on the drone program, that the possibility is rare, but not out of the question.
Whatever your comfort level with the war on terror being conducted using unmanned drones, the idea that Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder is involved has to raise even more red flags.
So, what did Holder actually write? In the case of another Pearl Harbor or 9/11, he’d “examine the particular facts and circumstances” while keeping the president’s options open. “For example,” he wrote, ‘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 of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.” In another end left open, Holder’s letter also does not limit “lethal force” to unmanned drones.
How will Americans, both conservative and liberal, react to this news? Even MSNBC’s Touré announced he was “very comfortable” with the secret drone program, at least as long as Obama and Holder were behind the controls.
If nothing else, the stark hypothetical scenarios in Holder’s letter might spark new debate on government overreach. Plenty have taken to the streets in the last two months to demonstrate in favor of their Second Amendment rights, while others see gun control as little more than a public health issue. Will Americans #DemandAPlan on drones?