“Engaged in Combat”

Last night, Rand Paul said this:

Well, words do make a difference, and I would feel a little more comfortable if we would get in writing a letter that says he doesn’t believe killing people not actively engaged in combat with drones in America, on American soil, is constitutional.

Today, Eric Holder wrote Paul this letter.

It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question. “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no.

Aside from noting that Holder took out the “actively” modifier in Paul’s statement (though Paul said some version of this so many times last night that Holder’s formulation might be justified by one of those other ones), I’d have to say that Paul has only managed to move the pea under a different shell in this shell game.

Because now we need a definition of what “engaged in combat” means.


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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz A Baseline for U.S. Counterintelligence Programs http://t.co/pRxBR3akOZ @FAScientists A short, but critical, post for fellow NatSec junkies
bmaz I am starting to think will be no #Deflategate decision from @JudgeRichardBerman today. Also a bit bored as I had afternoon calendar cleared
bmaz Suppression...and, therefore, dismissal. The most wonderful words short of "not guilty" a lawyer can hear. Maybe even better.
bmaz @stephenlemons This shit just keeps getting better and better.
bmaz Hahahaha, what an assclown Arpaio is. Especially is you know who and what Dennis Montgomery is. #Charlatans https://t.co/ESfNDJjNwN
emptywheel @onekade You just want MA to be the next CO. Admit it. @Richardson_Mich
bmaz RT @GrantWoods: @bmaz @Variety who is worse-Allred or the In a Wreck Get a Check guy? Close.
bmaz @GrantWoods @Variety Jeebus, good question. Allred is national, but mostly gloms on to idiots. WreckCheck guys are skimming real people.
bmaz RT @Nick_Hentoff: Nat Hentoff: "Exciting, Illuminating Book 'The Words We Live By' Makes #Constitution Come Alive" http://t.co/dlgP9yFXw7 v…
bmaz But, hey, that USA Freedumb Act was a GREAT first step! https://t.co/Ve01Deggn8