Attorney General Eric Holder
Unlike his letter (PDF) yesterday to Sen. Rand Paul, where Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in "extraordinary circumstances"—such as during an ongoing attack—the president can order the use of military force against persons in the United States, today Holder made the extraordinary, indefensible and John Yoo-like claim that the 2001 AUMF empowered the president to deploy the military on U.S. soil as a matter of routine:
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, praised the Obama administration for its use of drone strikes abroad and, as he has in the past, offered his view that the wartime authority Congress granted to use military force against Al Qaeda extended to domestic soil. Mr. Holder indicated that he agreed with that proposition. [Emphasis supplied.]
As I have explained before, this view, previously argued by John Yoo, is plainly wrong:
The problem is the 2001 AUMF does not include the language "in the United States." To wit, the Posse Comitatus Act's requirement of "express authorization" is not met. There is no express authorization for military targetting in the United States.

The 2001 AUMF is an abomination. It needs to be repealed. But it does not do what Serwer argues it does.

The Obama Administration can and should confidently state that it is not empowered to target persons in the United States. Because it is not.

Don't believe me? How about Tom Daschle:
Just before the Senate acted on this compromise resolution, the White House sought one last change. Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words "in the United States and" after "appropriate force" in the agreed-upon text. This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused.
Daschle described the Bush Administration as follows:
Instead of employing tactics that preserve Americans' freedoms and inspire the faith and confidence of the American people, the White House seems to have chosen methods that can only breed fear and suspicion.
Yesterday, I spent some time defending Holder from what I believed to be false claims as to what he was asserting in his letter to Rand Paul. Today, there is no defense—Holder is wrong in what he said today. Egregiously wrong. And his testimony "can only breed fear and suspicion."

It was an outrageous statement and should be retracted immediately.

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