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

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
reader2010's picture

"The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can't deposit the truth in a bank. You can't buy groceries with the truth. You can't pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross -- all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another think coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don't have any money."

Jeb Bush


gbresnahan's picture

(obvious, but just stating)

Rand Paul is not Ron Paul

Senator Rand Paul visits The Kotel (Western Wall)

moondog's picture

Sometimes you play the game to get things done. AIPAC runs the show folks!! Wake UP!!

Who else in the Senate is raising their voice to support liberty? He's bringing attention to an answer that needs attention. That being said, I liked his father far more than I like him.

q99x2's picture

Since when did the CIA start working for the United States Government?

Hey now that all the western countries are for all practical purposes one nation under the NWO what if we create international voting criteria that people from all nations agree to use as guidelines? I think that is a great idea.

cherry picker's picture

Just for the benefit of big brother and the CIA and the women who call themselves agents but are prostitutes working for Uncle Sam, bedding important figures in far off and not so far off lands.  The weasels who run the scam and work in the field are not any better.

You are responsible for the deaths and misery of many innocents on this planet.

One day, your day will come.

Poor Grogman's picture

I'm sick of these piss ant pieces of shit

Just answer the fucking question will you?

Super Broccoli's picture

what do you mean by "can" ?

do you mean "are you able to", "are you entitled", "are you legaly authorized" or "can you tell me if you can" ?

You need to precise the question sir

Mr. Hudson's picture


: "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?"

Does a policeman have the right to pull out a gun and shoot an American citizen? Yes, if the officer feels that lives are in immediate danger. So, our government can use the excuse that drones can be used to kill American citizens if they believe that there is an imminent threat to American lives.

pherron2's picture

Of course they will use them. We have Waco, Ruby Ridge, & more to inform us on the tactics they are willing to use. In my mind, their silence, or obfuscation is an affirmation, which is likely the desired result, as they hope to chill dissent, through fear. As for  rP, he is simply following the script he has been given.

Money 4 Nothing's picture

1) The CIA is NOT allowed to practice their tradecraft on US soil. But they are.

2)  Habeas Corpus is suspended thanks to NDAA. Civil attatchment 1021.

Habeas Corpus, literally in Latin "you have the body" is a term that represents an important right granted to individuals in America. Basically, a writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate requiring that a prisoner be brought before the court to determine whether the government has the right to continue detaining them. The individual being held or their representative can petition the court for such a writ.

3) Posse Comitatus is suspended.

 It used to limit the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the State laws.

4) Any Leader / President that allows or orders the full powers of leathality of their standing military against their citizens is no longer..

a) in control.

b) should be considered a Dictator.

Honor your Oaths LEO and Military elements. Support your local Sheriffs and we can beat this thing.

This is the reason why you should never listen to your MSM channels ever again. Basically, their all allowed to lie now without legal consequences.


Drone strikes are totally legal, bang and bust without warrents is totally legal, assasination of American citizens is legal, Detainment without charges is just fine allong with indefinate detention of Americans on foriegn or domestic soil is all good too. See the problem?





22winmag's picture

Drones, smart weapons, and heavy weapons are a LIABILITY to those in power. All it takes is one or two brave, patriotic men in uniform to turn them on our dear leaders and it's lights out.


Given the level of treason in America today... you can bank on it.

madcuban's picture

Rand Paul is a fraud.  He'll switch and vote for him just like the previous times he has approved Obama's lackeys.  His father should be ashamed of him.

madcuban's picture

Look at his recent acts, not just his words. I used to think he was a chip off his dad's block. He showed his true colors backing Romney and it has been one flip flop after another ever since.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

we get it madcuban, but who else in the senate or congress has done more? and why do you think that is?

madcuban's picture

So for lack of other choice, you choose to worship a lying fraud??  He is a shill to the GOP.  Its nefarious.  Why worship that?  I choose not to promote another pretender Libertarian/Randian.  The GOP already has tried to take all that over with fake senators and Rand Paul is now the frontman for it all right under our very noses.  Beware of the guy that speaks some truths, asks you for money, then backs the establishment in the end.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

in defense of rand and ron, no one posting here knows what pressure is used to control congressmen/senators who actually put light on forbidden subjects..if you are young and inexprienced in the world, or have neglected history lessons,you make these men less than what they are. look up curt weldon and "able danger" or dallas tx and US presidents ..what they can do is limited, that they do anything vs the majority of our congressmen is amazing.

madcuban's picture

I get your point.  I do.  But I still choose to remain a purist in my beliefs.  None of these guys (politicians) are pure and none of them will make any difference.

MickV's picture

Of course he is a fraud (as is Ron). What kind of "constitutionalis"t allows the Usurpation of the Presidency w/o a peep.

MickV's picture

Why don't you address the real Constitutional disaster that has taken place TD? Are you afraid? Or are you not that smart. There IS NO UNITED STATES. It has been Usurped by an ineligible NON NATURAL BORN Domestic enemy of foreign descent. Get a Clue. Obama was born British, of a British subject father, who was an "improper ascendant" (ANCESTOR) === see Federalist 68. Obama would not be eligible if born on the Oval Office desk, delivered by JFK. Therefore he is not a legal US President, and only putatively sits in the Oval Office.


Since the President is the executor of the laws, and he is not a legal entity, then there is no law. It's not really that hard to understand is it? There is no "rule of law", only the rule of evil men--- and they all know it. Seen any law applied to the Oligarchy? The Republic can only be restored FIRST by the mass realization of the Treason that has occurred, and everything else is just whining, and the beatings will continue until blood is shed by tyrants and patriots.

Have you been threatened also TD? Are you merely a steam vent? Or are you just not that smart?

US LAW (now defunct):

"The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners." Minor v. Happerset, 88 US 162, 167 (1874)

lakecity55's picture

The Republic was overthrown the day the usurper was 'sworn in.'

It no longer exists. You are now under a Dictatorship, and have been, since 2009.

Thank you,

The Founders.

Ghordius's picture

you confuse me with this date. you are talking about Bush Jr., aren't you? ;-)

btw, did you ever read Vidal's book "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace"? it's from 2002

WillyGroper's picture

GV got it, having been born & grown up in the thick of it. 

WillyGroper's picture

Yes. He was born @ West Point. His father implemented the measures for 2 fighter jets to be dispatched in the case of hijackings or matters of natl security. GV also condemned the lack thereof on 9/11. 


Guess who would have to order them to stand down? A known, known? A known, unknown?


earleflorida's picture

and, now you know of "911"...

skippy9's picture

"Isn't it true that Obama has a mustache and all government personnel must wear brown uniforms with a black icon arm band"?

new game's picture

after eading thru this whole dialog it seems there is only one question that need to be asked and answered.

are you willing to not fight for this country, but rather fight to get it back...

AnAnonymous's picture

For 'americans', the group is all.

As told by an 'american' on this site, the US is in the eye of the storm in this 'american' world.

Lets cap:

Killing non USofA citizenship holders abroad: OK

Killing non USofA citizenship holders on the US soil:OK

Killing USofA citizenship holders on the US soil: it should be a problem.

Killing USofA citizenship holders abroad: OK

Confirmed both that for 'americans', the group is all, stick to you US ofA citizenship and stay in the US.

If you fail to do that, US Americans, the cream of the cream in this 'american' world will apply their either with them or against them motto and you are now elegible to being blast by a drone.

One could argue of a possible criminal intent anytime a US american asks:
- that a US citizenship holder drops her/his citizenship
-that a US citizenship holder moves abroad and leaves the US soil.

The way it works in an 'american' world.

lakecity55's picture

"I'm gonna make Caligula look like a piker."

-B Hussein Skeeter

thruid's picture

How in the hell did a debate about the Civil War get started ?   Oh well, I might as well put in my 2 cents worth.  It should cast some light on the subject to realize that the rest of Western Civilization ended slavery WITHOUT a war.   It was done by simply purchasing the slaves and preventing any further importation of slaves.   That solution was vastly less expensive than fighting a war with the south.  The north as a people were just as racist as the south.  In fact General Grant and his wife had personal slaves before AND during the war !   No, it was not about freeing the slaves.  The Civil War, like all wars before or since was about land, money and power.

Watauga's picture

Come on.  Be honest.  This is all George Bush's fault.

thruid's picture

The reason for fighting the Vietnam War is even more perplexing than the Civil War unless you view it through Imperial eyes so to speak.   Japan and South Korea have been virtual colonies of the US.  Southeast Asia has been our sphere of influence since WW2 just as Eastern Europe was under the dominion of the USSR.  As Chalmers Johnson has pointed out, Great Britain lost its empire, the USSR lost its empire and it appears to remain a republic, we must lose ours as well OR follow the path of Empire just as Rome did and devolve into a fascist (corporate/state merger) form of government.  As far as I am concerned the men that fought in Vietnam are to be honored just as the men that fight in unnecessary wars today should have our respect.  

They were all heroes. They were told they were fighting to defend America and they put their lives on the line for the stated reason, but can anyone explain to me why we were in Vietnam ?? The usual answer given to the US population at the time was to fight Communism, the "domino theory" etc etc. Communism is a political system married to a socialist economy. Here are a few points that have given me pause for thought since I was 16 and began receiving TIME magazine. I loved every issue and read them each 2 or 3 times. They were my window to the world. 

I believe the statements below are correct with the exception of the conclusion.

1. Capitalism is by far superior to Socialism in generating wealth.
2. Wealth is the foundation of the military, therefore a military of a country with a substandard economy can not hope to succeed against a military supported by a more productive economy.
3. Both of our enemies in the Cold War were Communist/Socialist
4. Sharing an economic system does not mean two countries will be allies. WW2 was fought against countries with the same economic system, Capitalism. They did have a different political system, Fascism.

Conclusion of our leaders during the Cold War: We must fight Communist countries and try to promote Capitalism in the countries that are our enemies. Huh ??? 

Here are a few questions. 

Shouldn't we have been thankful that our enemies were Communist/Socialist ?? If Democracy/Capitalism is superior,  wouldn't the people of other countries eventually overthrow a despotic and corrupt system ?? Should we have promoted despotic leaders in the Middle East and South America ? Did our obvious support of despotic leaders in the Middle East (Shah of Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, House of Saud in Arabia) contribute to 9-11 ??

Now we have a Capitalist China which is STILL our enemy. They own almost a trillion dollars of our debt and could collapse our economy/currency merely by selling Treasuries. We have a Capitalist Russia which is STILL our enemy. We kill innocent people in the Middle East routinely in an effort to kill a few combatants with drone strikes. Isn't this likely to create many more people bent on killing Americans ??

We fought the war in Vietnam to protect our sphere of influence in Southeast Asia.  We got involved in Afghanistan to pay back the Russians for Vietnam which resulted in a militarized/radicalized mujahadeen and sowed the seeds for 9-11 two decades later. Since 9-11, the Bill of Rights has been completely gutted by both of the political parties under Bush and Obama in an effort to "keep us safe". Now we have crony capitalism where the greater the misdeeds the less likely you will be prosecuted. Our political system (corporate oligarchy) now resembles fascist Nazi Germany more than pre WW2 America. The ridiculous involvement in Vietnam may turn us into our enemy in WW2. Ironic 

Henry Hub's picture

It's interesting that there is no talk of an impeachment of Obama for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" (Art. II Sec. 4 of the Constitution). It would certainly seem that killing American citizens without charges or a trial is an impeachable offense.

I guess these days the president can only be impeached for blow jobs.

thruid's picture

Hahahahaahhahaaa !  True.  Blow jobs are completely unacceptable but a drone strike which happens to kill a few dozen innocent people is.............unfortunate.   Warrantless wiretaps (out dated but useful term), extrajudicial killing and the manipulation of an entire economy in order to impoverish many and enrich a few is not only acceptable but considered necessary by a population which has been mesmerized by reality TV and Prozac.

icanhasbailout's picture

I want to see a Rand Paul filibuster just for the pure awesomeness of hours of uninterrupted speaking of truth to power in the halls of Congress.

“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”-ThomasJefferson's picture





Plain and simply, the USA is the Evil Empire.  

The simple minded and weary among us get their undies in a bunch depending on which group of thieves (republitards v demtards) controls the White House.

Molesting its citizens through TSA, spying on its citizens through quasi government agencies; i.e...Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Comcast, ATT,etc.....

Un-manned weaponized drones are in the sky all over the world.  Most are property of the USA. 

These weaponized drones will get smaller and smaller, deadlier and deadlier.

If they're not already flying overhead us, they will soon be.

The majority of ignorant American's would be more than happy to give up ALL of their civil liberties if the party they preferred was in power.


thruid's picture

True.  The irony which is not recognized by either side is that the same people are in power regardless who gets elected.

Decimus Lunius Luvenalis's picture

Startling that a former constitutional law professor, albeit one that never published any law article (ever), either can't or won't say whether or not the U.S. government can assassinate a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.  You would think such a former professor would be able to speak authoritatively about something like Due Process as it relates to a government murdering a citizen. 

mkhs's picture

Welcome to affirmative action world.

roadhazard's picture

Looks like I need to own a CDR.0 (Cyber Drone Repellent) for my survivalist armory.


CDR.0 = unlike a Tosh.0, which does not work. 


earleflorida's picture

' "absence [constitution/articles?] makes the heart grow fonder"...whereas, "familiarity [ambiguity] breeds contempt"...given a white`wash'd house as a backstop,... a republic once-- now, all but a hall of tarnished mirrors with awe, that of a foresakened cameo silhouette... this quasi-perambulate griffin`chameleon fomenting,... frothing at the crossroad decivities treachery, whence emboldened by the morass of a shunted past, shant be enlightened, but for a cassadra's futures`demise... having no time-- no tyme, but for thy present-- vacillating on the precipice of insanity... where, "never the twain [democracy?] shall meet" ' 

Zymurguy's picture

Rand ( and everyone else on here ),

Simple logic:

By providing an answer to a question that was not asked his response is in effect, "no comment".  It's also a tremendously over-used tactic by politicians and pundits to fein honesty.  He's not going to perjur himself.

Therefore by saying "no comment" we can map out a couple possible reasons why he will not respond:

01.)  The administration is actively working on the legal defense angles to use the drones in this manner

02.)  The administration is actively working on the legislation to allow the use of drones in this manner

03.)  The administration fully believes the govt. has the right to use capital punishment of a civilian with no arrest, no due process, etc.

04.)  All ove the above.

michigan independant's picture

What Senate do we speak of ?

BlackBart41's picture

Think BIG PICTURE. Drones are but one instrument of killing.  The "frightening" aspect of this is that someone in the government can decide that an American citizen anywhere can be can be targeted and killed by it's government without due process.