(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/7/13) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) efforts to obtain clarification as to whether the Obama administration believes armed drones could legally be used to attack Americans on U.S. soil.
CAIR also acknowledged Attorney General Eric Holder's written response today to Paul's questioning on drone killings, in which Holder wrote:
"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."
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"We welcome Senator Paul's efforts to press for a firm answer as to whether drones may legally be used to kill American citizens on U.S. soil. Unfortunately, the initial administration response to that question left room for doubt. We acknowledge today's statement by Attorney General Holder and hope that it represents a clear and unequivocal rejection of that obviously unconstitutional authority."
Awad also questioned why the Obama administration has not fully informed the nation, and allowed judicial oversight, of the legal justifications currently being used to kill American citizens abroad.
Attorney General Holder told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the president would address the issue directly "in a relatively short period of time." Congress has been seeking access to memos produced by the United States Department of Justice that lay out the legal rationale for drone strikes on Americans overseas.
Attorney General: Obama to Reveal More on Drone Strike Policy
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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