By Michael J.W. Stickings
I like Obama. I really do. But increasingly his articulation of executive power with respect to the war on terror, and generally, and the expression of that power specifically in the ongoing drone campaign against enemies of the state, however defined, often with significant civilian collateral damage, is the stain the threatens to overwhelm the rest of his presidency. And it's getting worse:
Yes, the president does have the authority to use military force
against American citizens on US soil -- but only in "an extraordinary
circumstance," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to Sen.
Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday.
This is rarely the case, but I'm with Paul on this one. Even if you think Obama would never do such a thing, and if you think that you should think it over, do you really trust any president to determine just what "an extraordinary circumstance" is? I'm no anti-government nut -- in fact, I'm generally in favor of an activist federal government. But this is appalling, and truly a threat to freedom.
"The US Attorney General's refusal to rule out the possibility of
drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than
frightening," Paul said Tuesday. "It is an affront the constitutional due process rights of all Americans."
Labels: Barack Obama, civil liberties, drone war, Eric Holder, Rand Paul, Republicans, U.S. Constitution