Rand Paul To CIA: "Can You Kill With Drones In The USA?"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Rand Paul’s Third Letter to the CIA: Can You Kill with Drones in the USA?

This letter is a few days old, but is very important for every American to be aware of. Essentially, Rand Paul is threatening to filibuster Barack Obama’s nominee for the CIA, John Brennan, due to his refusal to answer a simple question:

Do you believe that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial?

This should not be a complicated question to answer, yet it seems Obama, Brennan and pretty much every other little power consumed bureaucrat is incapable of doing so.  Below is Rand Paul’s letter reprinted in full (my emphasis added).

February 20, 2013

John O. Brennan

Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. Brennan,

In consideration of your nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), I have repeatedly requested that you provide answers to several questions clarifying your role in the approval of lethal force against terrorism suspects, particularly those who are U.S. citizens. Your past actions in this regard, as well as your view of the limitations to which you are subject, are of critical importance in assessing your qualifications to lead the CIA. If it is not clear that you will honor the limits placed upon the Executive Branch by the Constitution, then the Senate should not confirm you to lead the CIA.


During your confirmation process in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), committee members have quite appropriately made requests similar to questions I raised in my previous letter to you-that you expound on your views on the limits of executive power in using lethal force against U.S. citizens, especially when operating on U.S. soil. In fact, the Chairman of the SSCI, Sen. Feinstein, specifically asked you in post-hearing questions for the record whether the Administration could carry out drone strikes inside the United States. In your response, you emphasized that the Administration “has not carried out” such strikes and “has no intention of doing so.” I do not find this response sufficient.

The question that I and many others have asked is not whether the Administration has or intends to carry out drone strikes inside the United States, but whether it believes it has the authority to do so. This is an important distinction that should not be ignored.

 Just last week, President Obama also avoided this question when posed to him directly. Instead of addressing the question of whether the Administration could kill a U.S. citizen on American soil, he used a similar line that “there has never been a drone used on an American citizen on American soil.” The evasive replies to this valid question from the Administration have only confused the issue further without getting us any closer to an actual answer.

For that reason, I once again request you answer the following question: Do you believe that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial?

I believe the only acceptable answer to this is no.

Until you directly and clearly answer, I plan to use every procedural option at my disposal to delay your confirmation and bring added scrutiny to this issue and the Administration’s policies on the use of lethal force. The American people are rightfully concerned, and they deserve a frank and open discussion on these policies.

Rand Paul, M.D.

United States Senator

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ACP's picture

Dear Mr. Paul,

Please furnish us with your home address and I'll let you know.

John Brennan

"I'm Assistant to the President, BITCH."

Groundhog Day's picture

"You want the truth, you can't handle the truth"

SafelyGraze's picture

dear mister paul,

you'll eat it. and you'll like it.

have we made ourselves clear?


ps thanks for your service as controlled opposition (conop)

Manthong's picture

“The evasive replies to this valid question from the Administration have only confused the issue further without getting us any closer to an actual answer.”

Um.. there should be no confusion.

If an immediate and resounding “no” is not uttered, it means that they believe yes or at least that there is some latitude for them.

Either way, it means that “We the people” have a clear and present danger on our hands with this bunch.

Lore's picture

No man of conscience would ever equivocate on a basic matter of principle.

francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah but I got me an Obamafone before I got droned... Itz all good!

Go Tribe's picture

You can bet that every obamafone comes hardwired ON for GPS. Coordinates already targeted.

GetZeeGold's picture



That's why Rand voted for Chuck Hagel. He found out he was on the short list.

GeezerGeek's picture

Why would Obama want to target those who hold Obamaphones? After all, they are all Obamabots who voted (often more than once, I hear) for the anointed one. Or are they now expendable now that Obama no longer needs votes to win a presidential race?

ATM's picture

They will be expendable in the future just as were the millions of Ukrainian peasants to Stalin.

JPM Hater001's picture

"it means that they believe yes or at least that there is some latitude for them."

You had me at yes.

goldfish1's picture

Incapable of answering?

I don't think incapable is the correct word.

Orange Pekoe's picture

Of course they do not believe they have the authority to do so, but they will do it anyway. These people know right from wrong, hence the LIESSSS.

Al Gorerhythm's picture

dear mister paul,

you'll eat it. and you'll like it.

Damn. Not cake again.

One World Mafia's picture

Normally they just lie and let time dull the memory. Since they are evading rather than lying we can safely assume there won't be enough time to dull the memory of a lie before the drone strikes in the US begin.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



President Lincoln ordered the killing of Americans on American soil. 

What's different this time?  This time, instead of drafting boys from the North, the POTUS is having flying robots do the killing.

El Oregonian's picture

Lincoln was wrong then. Barry is wrong now....

A Nanny Moose's picture

The dronings will continue until morale improves.

JPM Hater001's picture

The civil war was a moral victory and a constitutional failure.

Room 101's picture


It was a moral failure as well. Or was destroying the south, burning Atlanta and Richmond to the ground, and the establishment of a de facto dictatorship "moral" in your view? 

Oh, I know it was all about "freeing the slaves."

Bullshit.  Slavery would have ended in 20 years if the south went it's way and the north it's way in any case. Slavery wasn't economically viable in the long run when immigrants would gladly work for pennies.    

Stoploss's picture

Im still waiting to see one of "the ships" we used to go to Africa and collect the slaves to bring back an sell.


Oh, right, we didn't do that, the French brought them to us, i forgot they took the ball from the Romans and ran with it.

The Romans were equeal opportunity slavers, no ethnicity involved, you either were Roman, or, a slave.

AnAnonymous's picture

Bullshit. Slavery would have ended in 20 years if the south went it's way and the north it's way in any case. Slavery wasn't economically viable in the long run when immigrants would gladly work for pennies.

Absolutely. That is why convict leasing had had a blast from the emancipation act to the 1950s.

It was uneconomically viable and 'americans' would have stopped it anyway.

An 'american' world in action.

earnulf's picture

"Slavery would have ended in 20 years".

yeah, right.   Since when has anything intelligent actually happened within the time frame of a couple of decades.    White Southern Slave owners only had to feed and work their slaves, all the rest of the profits from their labors went into the slaveholders pocket.    With the efforts being made in the 1850's to expand slavery to the western territories, slavery would have lasted far longer.    The Civil War (War between the States) was on a course that no one was able to stop with both sides intransigent in their outlook and beliefs regarding the others.    This started in the 1820's and festered for 40 years before war broke out as the nation looked west.    Manifest Destiny relegated anyone who was not white to minority status (Mexicans, Indians, Africans).

Today we have two sides that are so enamored of their "mandate" that they can't agree on anything of importance, the government runs itself into the ground and the taxpayer picks up the tab.    Everyone has a talking point and no one thinks about the ramifications of actually doing it.     Balance the budget! they cry, but don't cut my program or raise my taxes.    It's a me, me, me theme and to hell with anyone else as long as I get my way!

There are no more statesmen (the last one retired) and the talking heads are spouting gibberish sales slogans that people pick up like "where's the beef!".     Let's cut spending across the board in all programs by 5% and raise all taxes by 5% every year until the budget balances.   The Economy will tank, people will go hungry and chaos will ensue.      The powderkeg is lit and there's powder all around, we just haven't had the right spark yet.

jeff montanye's picture

that is not an unimportant point.  although delayed by about a hundred years there is something positive about ending human slavery and racial discrimination (and, possibly, keeping the u.s. one country).  what are we getting for this go round?  more settlements in the west bank and east jerusalem?  keeping saudi women out of the drivers' seats and subject to stoning?  protecting the ability of the emir of bahrain to torture to death peaceful protesters?  iran/taliban/pakistan have been and are no better, but is this the measure of the city on the hill?  no worse than iran? 

GCT's picture

The Civil War was not about slavery to begin with, please do some reading other then the educational books.  Slavery and freedom of the slaves came into play when the North kept getting it ass handed to it in early battles.

The writing of our history books went to the victors. 

Ghordius's picture

+1 as always, vae victis

interestingly, some of our older history books point to the (alas, continental euro-centric view) lack of european support for the South as the main cause of defeat through the successful Yankee embargo of the South's exports

AnAnonymous's picture

The civil war was about slavery.What it was not about was emancipation.

'Americans' have been trying to sell themselves as promoting freedom.

Slavery was central in the civil war and the two 'american' sides that fought it, one was for maintaining it (status quo), that is the Union while the other was for expanding it, making de facto slaves ownership an 'american' human right.

Two sides, three positions, for, status quo, against and the two 'american' sides managed to leave empty the only position that could have given them some credit in their freedom promoting.

It takes 'americans' to accomplish such deeds.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

anan, is there any subject you are not an expert in?? take a break pal.

akak's picture

History and truthfulness, for two.

madcuban's picture

No. The civil war was about tariffs. Namely the northern states constantly adding tariffs to southern state agricultural exports. Abolishing slavery was simply a way for Lincoln to add to his troop totals and create chaos in the south with fleeing slaves. It was after the fact. Lincoln was on record prior to this saying his preference was tp put every slave on a boat and send them to their own country in Africa so they wouldn't have mixed race children.

Ghordius's picture

"The civil war was about tariffs" if so (can't judge) than even more: the victory was through embargo

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

one of the missed facts about the american civil war, lincoln could not find generals willing to kill fellow americans until he found a drunk and psychotic, I will let you historians to figure who I mean.

GCT's picture

Spot on Madcuban I did not want to get into all the problems at the time.  Lincoln did indeed want to send all the slaves home so to speak.   I just get tired of how Lincoln is protrayed as a great leader who wanted slavery abolished and the North went to war over it.  LOL there were alot of slaves in the North as well.  Funny how that is forgotten.

The North did indeed have the industrial base to produce machinery of war and wa politically tied to Europe.  The south actuallly had better military leaders. Until the South started running out of war supplies the North was taking an ass wooping.  I am not from the south so do not go there.  I am just pointing out some facts the media forgets when they do some research and post it for the sheeple.



One World Mafia's picture

Killing drones make it too easy for a corrupt govt - which we certainly have - to destroy a country.

If the civil war was really about slavery, slaves could have been freed the same way other countries successfully freed them: by buying their freedom (no war!). If we couldn't have a civil war he would have been forced into the better solution if that was really his objective.

El Oregonian's picture

I'll quote a real one even better: "No bastard won a war dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." - Attributed to General George S Patton Jr.

So in other words taken from one of our greatest generals- "Take them out before they take you out." Simple enough... He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

Monedas's picture

Do we have a right to shoot a home invasion perp .... yeah .... so you you can imagine circumstances .... where a person could be taken out .... before he flies his Cessna into the Academy Awards .... well, maybe that's not a good example ?

ultimate warrior's picture

A better question would be can an American citizen kill a drone in the USA? Just would like some clarity before I start dropping some metal in the sky made by; Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems. I apologize in advance for destroying your surveillance/murder machines but you fuckers got it coming if you intrude in my space. 

Troy Ounce's picture



I saw a long comment on ZH recently from a reader on how to kill/evade/incapacitate drones.


Tyler, can you give that reader some space?

Punch Bag's picture

Great question...I can see the movie now

GeezerGeek's picture

I'd rather capture one than kill one. Anyone know of a URL to an Iranian web site that describes the process of hijacking one?

(Just kidding, Janet. Really. Trust me.)

daxtonbrown's picture

Related questions. What about drone strikes in Mexico? Canada? Puerto Rico? US Virgin Islands?

Much less Britain? France? Germany?

South Korea? Japan?

Then what about Russia? China? NoK?

Enquiring minds want to know!

Anusocracy's picture

If drone strikes are good enough for foreigners, they're good enough for the US.

After all, a wedding party is a wedding party, a school is a school, and a funeral is a funeral.

Unless, that is, they are of a particular religion.


Ghordius's picture

but drone strikes in foreign lands are acts of war. done after a proper declaration of war.  all legal  oh... wait... never mind...