Submitted by Emily H., Fairfax, VA
CONTEXT: On Wednesday, Mar. 06, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took to the senate floor and proceeded to “drone” on for an astonishing 13 hours, according to Public Radio International. Sen. Rand’s objective, to delay the Senate’s swearing in of newly-appointed CIA Director John Brennan, was achieved as a point of posture, but what drove him to the Senate floor is a larger issue that has Americans on both sides of the senate ready to continue the conversation.
Sen. Rand used his time on the floor, which Senate aides say was the first talking filibuster in the U.S. Senate since Dec. 10, 2010, to to express his concern over the potential for drone strikes on U.S. soil, aimed at U.S. citizens, which the now CIA Director Brennan did not rule out during questioning by Attorney General Eric Holder earlier in the week.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Attorney General Holder acknowledged that the government “has not carried out drone strikes in the U.S. and has no intention of doing so.” He added: ”It is possible…to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” citing crisis scenarios like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.
THE QUESTION: Are drone strikes ethical? What do you think qualifies the President to authorize a strike on a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil? Should these qualifications be disclosed to the general public, or are they issues of national security and thus rightfully kept in the dark?