“On his own.” To be clear, they think he should have the power to do this “on his own.” This is what years of screeching during the Bush era about “the unitary executive” has come to.

I feel like I should issue a correction here. Back when Rand Paul was stumping against John Brennan on grounds that he wouldn’t give a straight answer about whether the White House can order a U.S. citizen killed on U.S. soil, I argued that Brennan’s silence wasn’t a big deal because the public simply wouldn’t stand for drone attacks here and O would surely realize that. Correction: A big chunk of the public, nearly a majority, would stand for it just fine.

In an era of fierce bipartisan disagreement, those numbers are amazingly consistent. According to the DOJ’s “white paper” on targeting U.S. citizens, drone attacks are permissible only if capturing the target isn’t “feasible.” I’d argue that if you’re on U.S. soil, you’re within reach of American law enforcement and therefore, by definition, capture is feasible. (The DOJ and The One himself have been conspicuously quiet about that.) Judging from these numbers, though, a huge chunk of the public is a lot more lax about defining feasibility than I’d be. Serious question: Do the people who answered “yes” here think capturing Chris Dorner was “infeasible” because he was holed up in a cabin with a gun? Or have they dispensed with infeasibility as a requirement entirely and are drawing the line on domestic drone strikes simply at whether the target is suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda?

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