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.