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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JR's picture

The time to deal with the drone danger is now by dealing with Brennan. It is time to make him the issue and reveal the exact intentions and authority that the President of the United States has for a domestic drone employment.

Rand Paul’s reputation is pretty bad but if he will stand firm on this issue and force the hold (filibuster) on the confirmation, he will gain a tremendous amount of public support. Because I feel the public is greatly alarmed at the possibility of military use of drones against American citizens.

goldfish1's picture

He's fake opposition. Otherwise, one quiet word to Paul and that will be the end of it.

Meatballs's picture

I want to ask the CIA if Viagra is money. I bet they won't answer that one either.


zorba THE GREEK's picture

When TSHTF Viagra, ammo, and alcoholic beverages will all be money.

Jab Cross Hook's picture

Don't forget weed.

/resume lurking

shovelhead's picture

Lots of weed and a hotrodded distortion pedal is really all you need.

Teamtc321's picture

I question your Viagra choice. Why would one want a ragin, flamin bone while in the middle of shtf?

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Cause nothing brings wood like some of the old ultraviolence, me droogy.

Schmuck Raker's picture
Rand Paul To CIA: "Hit me with your best shot. Fire awaaaaay."


[h/t Pat Benatar]

wee-weed up's picture

We must keep in mind that the Obama Admin has been at loggerheads with the CIA for a long time. There has been much bad blood between the Agency and the Administration. Brennan is the Admin's attempt to try to put an Obama loyalist in charge who can invoke The One's policies through their hand-picked leader throughout the CIA. Not good!

Pure Evil's picture

And, if Brennan comes out and says the NDAA gives the President the authority to drone a US citizen on US soil, then what?

Ok, you got your question answered Senator Paul, are you and your fellow US Senators gonna rewrite the NDAA?

So far, we don't really see the American people standing up for their Constitutional rights. Yeah, they finally started squealing when the Feds started talking about taking their guns away.

But, if we saw something like when the illegals came out back in 2005 we might see the Feds back down, but for how long?

LetThemEatRand's picture

I am no fan of Rand Paul, but positions like this are why I voted for his dad.  If Rand could just get over his corporatist tendencies....

Pareto's picture

That there is any hesitation to answer this at all, suggests to me that only the 2nd Amendment is left standing (albeit on pegged legs).  Cause you know they are going to fucking get this one too.  So, if the Constitution is dead, does this imply that God is dead - that one nation under God also dead?  So, if you go to a footbal/baseball game, isn't it rather pointless to put your hand over your heart, when not even your government gives a shit?  Isn't that like a symbolic contradiction a sort of illusion of freedom?  You know, so then by extension, why even bother with the flag?  Doesn't it now appear symbolic of, dare I say it, nothing?  I guess it is still symbolic of a union, of sorts, but it is sure not a union buttressed by freedom.  A union like one nation under coercion.  Sure is fuck isn't God.  sorry having a tough time reconciling the insanity. 

MikeMcGspot's picture

The argument on the second ammendment should be changed from how many rounds can be packed in a clip of a rifle to should the idea of citicizen protection be expanded in law to include local patriot missle batteries or SAM sites which perhaps given our inability to address our budget problems in a coherent manner the Russians may be willing to finance.

TomGa's picture

Here's an even better idea for handling pesky Americans during the Drone Wars.... From the British playbook, first strip them of their citizenship (in secret of course) then kill 'em. Problem eliminated, uh, so to speak:


Exclusive: Secret war on enemy within - British terror suspects quietly stripped of citizenship… then killed by drones

"The Government has secretly ramped up a controversial programme that strips people of their British citizenship on national security grounds – with two of the men subsequently killed by American drone attacks...."


Yohimbo's picture

how soon we forget,

we all seemed to have forgiven the rand paul

since romney was made to lose. 

IridiumRebel's picture

I'm sure they will try to hellfire Woodward.



Conax's picture

Guided missiles are too expensive to use killing one dude.  They are best suited to family gatherings and the like.  Hell, a third-grader could kill Woodward with a pointed stick.

They should build little robot trash can looking things that roll up and electrocute the 'bad guy'.

Or how about chip-implanted zombie kamikazi birds that pack two ounces of c4 and detonate on impact.  They could come right in the window.. We got to put darpo on this right away.  They need a guy like me, an idea man.

Being demented and warped, I could really contribute a lot.


WillyGroper's picture

They've already got drones the size of a small bird. What's to stop them from loading it with a magazine of poison darts for non-tax producing, bartering, useless eaters? Oh, he died of natural causes, heart attack, with no one any the wiser. 

Hummingbird drone---removed from utube.


Here's a pic of one.


holdbuysell's picture

Children in the US will be collateral damage of a drone strike. It's only a matter of time.

CompassionateFascist's picture

interesting tangent: 1/4 scale DHS Cessna drone over Sandy Hook school w/in minutes of the massacre of children...zipped right under the skids of a Police helicopter. Very cute.  

SubjectivObject's picture

Droner In Cheif (DiC) drones about allbut drones.

jldpc's picture

Some time ago the question was raised about the definition of "war" - where a person/group found the guys/techs (whethersoldier or civilian) in the USA controlling the drone(s) with intent to kill and killed them in defense of their agression against that person/group. Compare "war" to rebellion, insurrection, treason, etc. verrsus criminal conduct, e.g., under state or federal statutes. If we now can be, are, or may be the target(s), by those who have no "force" of law to be restrained by the constitution, then what duty do we owe to our brethern citizens to follow the "law." As compared to self preservation? This is all just like the start of Nazi Germany, and Lenin's Russia. The law became what those non-restrained fanatics (some were very smooth talkers like you know who (see the Oscar's the other night) made it. The founding father's started 3 branches of government for a reason - counter balance. If the Executive removes the need for the judiciary in matters of governmental use of forceagainst valid citizens (by having the congressional scum say it is so), then no man's life liberty or property is safe. And you can thank the "liberals" for it. If Georg Bush/Dick Cheney trie to get away with this the liberral press would have come unglued, and promoted mass demonstrations against executive power. And all we have is gun stores running out of ammunition.

Meat Hammer's picture

The wife and I watched Bourne Legacy last night.  The CIA tries to kill a spy that knows too much with a drone and he shoots it down with his trusty rifle.  I so want to do that!

SmallerGovNow2's picture

not as easy in real life as shown in the movies...

resurger's picture

read the terrarist manual posted on ZH earlier for more accuracy and prevention

Radical Marijuana's picture

Obviously, the path of legalizing lies, and then legalizing the violence to back those lies up, is a runaway juggernaut.

There is no possible constitutional authority for the executive to summarily become both the judge and executioner.

HOWEVER, since that is going to continue to happen anyway, the executive does not want to be on record as openly stating that what they are going to do is not legal, especially since there is nothing they could do to make it legal, without going through an outrageous set of attempted amendments of the American constitution.

But nevertheless, the American constitution has ALREADY been systematically destroyed for more than a Century, at an apparently exponentially accelerating rate. I like to point out the demonetizing of silver in 1874 as one of those turning points that is not as well known as others, such as the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve Board, and the income tax law which apparently never was fully ratified, in order to make it be technically legal, but simply became a runaway de facto situation, of lies, backed by violence, which were not even properly legalized to begin with.

In my view, the main thing that has happened during American history is that the international bankers were gradually able to take back control of the American government, which they had temporarily lost control of, due to the American Revolution. After the financial systems were fundamentally corrupted, in ways which, at face value, appear to be blatantly unconstitutional, but which, nevertheless, have been the de facto law, in the sense of frauds, backed by the full force of the government, nothing else could possibly happen, except what has actually happened, namely, a runaway fascist plutocracy, building a runaway fascist police state. That has been developed through a system of toroidal vortices, where foreign affairs and domestic affairs constantly recycled through each other. Thereby, everything that the covert government of America did abroad then returned to be done at home.

There is no reasonable doubt that the bankster controlled American government will summarily use drones to execute Americans without trial. After all, even before drones, there are plenty of examples, which, when more deeply researched, already look like mass murders of Americans by their covertly controlled government, without any legal justifications, but which were gotten away with, and indeed, sold to the American people through the mass media.

After one takes enough time to understand American history, we are mostly like people in the face of an avalanche, from which there is no reasonable hope of avoiding being hit by its overwhelming impact. In my opinion, most of us are still vainly believing that somehow our residual freedom of expression has some point or purpose. However, the realities look like the Federal government of the USA is NOW an out-of-control entity, which has been almost completely taken over by a covert organized crime gang, which have used that power to legalize their own crimes. Furthermore, I think it is painfully obvious that the biggest terrorist organization in the world is the Federal government of the USA.

Those trends have been on exponential growth curves for quite a while, where the leading edge of that has been the triumph of the privatized fiat money-as-debt frauds causing the total American debts to double and double, as a nearly perfect match to exponential growth, due to the basic structure of the system that has already been made and maintained for more than a Century. Therefore, we ALREADY are inside a runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut, which is always building a fascist police state to back it up at a similar exponentially accelerating rate. Hence, as I just wrote, we are standing in the path of an avalanche which has already wiped out quite a few people, and is going to wipe out way, way more in the foreseeable future.

The international banking cartel that took control of America, and enslaved its people to endlessly increasing and impossible to ever repay debts, has no exit strategy. It can only continue to keep doubling down, as that debt slavery becomes ever more blatantly debt insanity. As that runaway debt insanity situation manifests more and more, those established systems MUST resort to more of the matching madness of imposing a fascist police state.

There are no sane ways that I am aware of which can actually arrest the runaway fascist plutocracy, which is turning more and more Americans into road kill. Furthermore, there is nothing politically possible that I am aware of which could arrest the runaway fascist police state from automatically continuing to get worse, at an exponentially accelerating rate, where the fascism that has come to America will get twice as bad, twice as fast, for as far into the future as the current systems continue.

I would like to recommend some sort of Second American Revolution, as a theoretical solution to that situation. However, I find no plausible way to believe that such a thing is coherently possible. Although I have no doubts that we are looking at the growth of fascist plutocracy, and its fascist police state, towards complete madness, which would end in psychotic breakdowns, and collapses into chaos, I find no reasonable grounds to believe in any feasible solutions to that situation.

My conclusion is that the government of the USA is an out-of-control monster, that is going to mass murder Americans, and that anything that any of them attempt to do to resist that will probably only provoke it to become even worse. It is all going to automatically get worse, faster. There is no reasonable doubt that the American government WILL "carry out drone strikes inside the United States" despite the fact that it is plainly obvious that there is NO constitutional basis to say 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."

THE FUNDAMENTAL USA SYSTEM HAS ALREADY BECOME FORCE BACKED FRAUD. There is already a runaway juggernaut system of fascist plutocracy, backed by a fascist police state. There is no reasonable doubt that is going to turn more and more Americans into road kill. What started as the crucial assassination of politicians, then became the assassination of dozens, then hundreds, then thousands ... I see no reasonable doubt that will continue to become the mass murders of millions, and then tens of millions of Americans. Indeed, if there is significant resistance, such that the chain of command over the abundance of weapons of mass destruction shatters, then it is quite possible that the current trajectory towards tragedy would finally result in the mass murders of hundreds of millions of Americans.

In the end, as far as I can best guess, I believe that the government of the USA is so totally mad, due to its triumphant out of control ability to back up frauds with its forces, that the end game scenarios are most probably going to become the worst possible dystopian science fiction nightmares. That is, the systems which are being built are going to be monsters that go out of human control.

That is what each little step towards having automated computer/machine drones being designed to enable a fascist police state to summarily execute its "citizens" seems to be leading towards. I can not image any coherent ways to fight that, which would not actually result in it getting worse instead. Furthermore, I can not image the masses of the Zombie Sheeple Americans, who have been fleeced and fleeced, for so long, by the runaway fascist plutocracy system, being able to understand and effectively respond to the fascist police state which has been built to advance the agenda of that fascist plutocracy.

About the only remotely possible irrational hopes which I can maintain in the face of this require a series of political miracles, which are all dependent upon profound paradigm shifts in the basic ideas of militarism, and the monetary system, and so on and so forth ...

Those seem to be to be quite theoretically possible. However, given the ways that 99% of Americans have already been brainwashed to act like political idiots, I find no good grounds to actually believe that such real, radical, revolutions are remotely possible to be practically implemented. In theory, there MUST be a Second American Revolution, which is primarily a monetary revolution, but which must also be matched by a military revolution. However, that military revolution is barely comprehensible, since it has to somehow come around to being theoretically consistent with weapons of mass destruction, and thereby enable death controls which actually achieve dynamic equilibria, rather than runaway towards psychotic collapses into chaos.

The basic problem is that the whole system IS based on huge lies, backed by lots of violence, but that violence can never make those huge lies become true. But nevertheless, the current, already established social systems ARE based on force backed frauds, which means a fascist police state backing up a fascist plutocracy.

When we see things like automated drones, we are witnessing technologies becoming trillions of times more powerful, and able to use information, than ever before in human history, BUT, which are still being employed to try to back up Huge Legalized Lies, with violence ... that no longer could even be construed as legalized, but rather, have blatantly become unconstitutional.

Of course, the already established systems of Huge Legalized Lies, OUGHT to have already been seen as patently unconstitutional, and therefore, not legally allowed to continue to grow and grow. However, what SHOULD BE was not what actually happened! Since we already are inside a runaway system of legalized fictions, which are a systematic set of Huge Lies, in which endless financial frauds are the most important, and which are already backed up by the full force of the government, OF COURSE, we are looking at current events like this article discusses. The executive refuses to admit that what they have been doing, and are preparing to do a lot more of, is NOT legal, and could never be properly legalized. HOWEVER, they have been doing that anyway, and they ARE planning and preparing to do a lot more of that!

The science and technology that makes drones possible is on an exponential growth curve. The social insanities that enable the runaway fascist plutocracy, backed by a fascist police state, are also on exponential growth curves! Taken together, we ARE on paths towards the most dystopian science fiction nightmares becoming FACTS, at an accelerating rate! So far, I see barely the slightest signs that enough Americans understand that enough to do anything to prevent them becoming its victims. Therefore, I tend to believe and expect our residual freedom of expression to be able to discuss these political problems to disappear, rather than result in any effective solutions being generated and acted upon instead.

Totentänzerlied's picture

Concentration camps for political prisoners, class enemies, and social deviants (staples of communism) have been shown to be wholly unnecessary to maintain a functioning authoritarian totalitarian state. So too has curbing of basic political rights like freedom of speech. Modern western history shows that freedom of speech is not a threat or counterbalance to despotism, people who believe otherwise are engaged in wish-based magical thinking wherein an abstract notion about people's capacity to express differing opinions somehow threatens a very real government, which controls said opinions.

KnightTakesKing's picture

Once the virtue of the citizenry is lost they become slaves and pose no threat to the regime.

Vlad Tepid's picture





...Therefore, I decided to move out of the country and save myself the angst of going over this monologue 15 times as I try to fall asleep at night.

Optimusprime's picture

Excellent summary, so far as it goes.  Missing from your account are the sorts of factors brilliantly analyzed by Kevin MacDonald in Culture of Critique--factors involving group competition.  Counter-Currents publishes material germane to your concerns.


I appreciate your posts.

Punch Bag's picture

i find it a bit rich for those who support(ed) massive government military spending and overseas military presence, to complain about government budget woes.

Henry Hub's picture

It's also a bit rich that they want a huge military establishment and say they want a tiny federal government. Big military = big government.

WillyGroper's picture

Murder for hire. Courtesy of your tax dollars & the cost of your liberty. The only hope I see is that the same technology can be used on the very people in .gov that allowed this to happen, once the voracious greedy appetite of the fascists can no longer be satiated. Welcome to the NWO. A thousand points of light.

NeedtoSecede's picture

Rad MJ, I heard from a buddy that works for DHS that use of the word toroidal (without proper background checks) gets one on "The List". +1

I bet you have had multiple boating accidents along with many others here on ZH?

Zymurguy's picture

The cartel running this country has intentionally moved all the jobs needed to create everything they need/want to nations whose governments have their subjects under their control.  Now, they are saddled with millions of destitute citizens struggling to provide for their families and placing an ever increasing burden upon the government within a failing economy.  Last step is to eliminate the millions of citizens it no longer needs or wants to take care of.

Coming soon to a nation you live in.

semperfi's picture

Can we kill the traitor Nazis in the CIA, in the White House, and Congress with our bare hands and then go to Disneyland ?

booboo's picture

The government has gone rogue, is there really any point in pretending that they have any legitimate power to govern, the constitution does allow for consent to be withdrawn. Free your mind of their phoney grip and you can, for a fleeting moment, understand how little effort it would take to rid our great landscape of this virus of oppressive megalomaniac.

Totentänzerlied's picture

I can think of one. The fact that everyone is on the take. And the fact that the vast majority of us have been successfully psychologically conditioned into a lifelong state of emotional dependence on centralized authoritarian institutions, such as government and mass media, and abstract collectivities or derivatives thereof such as "the public", "public opinion", "the media", "the party", "expert opinion", "the majority", and "the public good".

The issue is not and never was capacity for independent and critical thought. It is and always has been the psychological readiness and willingness to make use of that capacity.

Optimusprime's picture

Has anyone noted the OPPT ""movement"?   Someone as astute as Dave Henderson thinks in may have legs.  

Then again, it may simply be another Soros-funded Trojan Horse.  But worth a look.  And hey, Tylers, why not commission a critical review of it?



uno's picture


Justice Ginsburg: “I Would Not Look to the U.S. Constitution”


resurger's picture

+5 RP

btw, ill be looking forward to hearing Brennans reply

TheMerryPrankster's picture

when hell freezes over. The CIA don't answer no questions, they ask them, while holding your head underwater and with a battery taped to your balls.

They're the good guys remember?.

Kelley's picture

It's not whether they will use drones inside the borders. Of course they won't use drones - just ask Breitbart.

MikeMcGspot's picture

Central control can be broken and distrubuted.

States have the power.

People in the states, corporations in the states have the power.

Central control is out of control.

A good spanking is in order.

morning_glory's picture

What we have here, is a failure to communicate.