Rand Paul on Drones: President's ‘No Intention' to Use Drone in U.S. Not Reassuring

February 25, 2013 - 2:02 PM
Sen. Rand Paul

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he would use whatever means he has to, to block the nomination of John Brennan to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, unless Brennan or the administration clearly states that drones cannot be used in the United States to kill Americans.

“I’ve not gotten one word of response from the administration on this,” Paul said Friday in an interview on Fox News. “The president says he has no intention, but that’s kind of like saying he doesn’t like the Second Amendment either but he doesn’t intend to overturn it at this time. That’s what he’s saying. He has no intention of dropping a bomb from a drone on an American right now. He should say he has no right to do so without a trial.”

Paul wrote a letter to Brennan last week asking him to clarify.

Paul also said Obama needs to be clear.

“He needs to respond. He needs to not say at this time I’m not planning on killing Americans,” Paul said on Fox. “He needs to say absolutely not. The Constitution protects American citizens on American soil. If you’re accused of a crime in America, you get your day in court.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Brennan if the administration would carry out drone strikes in the United States.

Brennan responded, “This administration has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so.”

In a Feb. 21 letter to Brennan, Paul wrote, “I do not find this response sufficient.”

Paul also raised concerns over the fact that when Obama was asked about drone strikes in the United States during a Google hangout on Feb. 16, the president responded, “Well first of all, there has never been a drone used on an American citizen on American soil.”

In his letter to Brennan, Paul wrote, “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.”

“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,” Paul wrote. “The American people are rightfully concerned, and they deserve a frank and open discussion on these policies.”