Attorney General Eric Holder has said he thought it would be legal for Obama to have drones kill Americans inside American territory, albeit under 'special circumstances'. His actual words were:
"It is possible, I suppose, 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,"
Yes, he is totally correct. Those special circumstances would be called "If he first declared Martial Law".
The problem is that Attorney General Holder does not appear to realizes that Martial Law would need to be declared BEFORE the President could legally do so.
Senator Rand Paul, (a man whom I disagree with about most things but admire his ethics) gave a great old school filibuster to protest Holder's statement. Note he actually stood up and talked for nearly 12 hours, as opposed to simply telling everything he was filibustering, which is what the lazy republicans usually do nowadays.
Holder should realize this and end this bit of stupidity by admitting that the special circumstances would involve a declaration of Martial Law. He has not, as of yet. But he did realize exactly how stupid his first answer was and gave this rather weak response:
According to Carney, Paul asked, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" In his response, also read by Carney, Holder replied succinctly: "The answer to that question is no."
This answer is worded rather strangely. Note how he specifically answered the exact wording, and avoided the actually question. It purposefully leave unanswered questions about the definition of 'combat'. The president should not be involved unless Martial Law is declared. If they are not, then someone of lesser rank should be making that decision, and drones should not be used to kill unless the enemy is directly attacking a human being (not the drone - no matter how much it costs).
Similarly, cops don't shoot people because they have guns in their hands, but only if they believe the criminal is about to use the gun (i.e. cops can't shoot hunters).