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Charles Krauthammer's op-ed column on the use of drones as weapons.
WASHINGTON--In choice of both topic and foil, Rand Paul's now legendary Senate filibuster was a stroke of political genius. The topic was, ostensibly, very narrow: Does the president have the constitutional authority to put a drone-launched Hellfire missile through your kitchen--you, a good citizen of Topeka to whom POTUS might have taken a dislike--while you're cooking up a pot roast?
The constituency of those who could not give this question a straight answer is exceedingly small. Unfortunately, among them is Attorney General Eric Holder. Enter the foil. He told a Senate hearing that such an execution would not be "appropriate."
"Appropriate" being a bureaucratic word meaning nothing, Holder's answer was a PR disaster. The correct response, of course, is: Absent an active civil war on U.S. soil (of the kind not seen in 150 years) or a jihadist invasion from Saskatchewan led by the Topeka pot roaster, the answer is "no."
The hypothetical being inconceivable, Paul's performance was both theatrically brilliant and substantively irrelevant. As for the principle at stake, Holder's opinion carries no weight in any case. He is hardly a great attorney general whose words will ring through history. Nor would anything any attorney general says be binding
The vexing and pressing issue