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Deal on Drone Documents Opens Path for Brennan as Panel Backs Nomination

The U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and have no intention of doing so, Holder wrote Paul on March 4. But, he added, It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and the appropriate laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. He mentioned the Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11 attacks as possible examples.

Holder basically said that they dont intend to do it and they probably wont do it but he can imagine a circumstance where they might, Paul said. My problem is, I dont know the exact number, but if I had to guess, a significant number of the drone strikes are on people walking down a pathway, people eating dinner, people in a cafe. They may be bad people, but you cant use that kind of standard in the United States to kill people eating in a cafe in San Francisco because they emailed somebody.

He added, Thats not the way we operate, and it disturbs me that the president will not answer unequivocally that he wont do that and cant do that and theres no authority for him to do that with the military of the United States.

Paul said he is re-evaluating whether or not to place a hold on Brennan.

Either way, the sharing of additional OLC memos should help Brennans chances of overcoming a filibuster.

Matt Fuller contributed to this report.

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