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Holder: No authority for drone strikes on non-combatant Americans

Attorney general sends letter to Paul after filibuster

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Attorney General Eric Holder has sent Sen. Rand Paul a letter expressly saying that the president does not have the authority to use drones to kill American on U.S. soil who are not enemy combatants.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at 1:15 pm. that Mr. Holder's letter to the Kentucky Republican went out shortly after noon, and just 12 hours after Mr. Paul stages a marathon talking filibuster on the Senate floor demanding clarification of U.S. drone policies and the president's authority to order strikes on Americans.

Mr. Holder's letter answers Mr. Rand's question, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill Americans not engaged in combat on U.S. soil," Mr. Carney said.

"The answer to that question is no," he said. "A letter signed by the attorney general has gone out in the last half an hour."

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