So yes, Obama can still vaporize American citizens on American soil.
Via Yahoo! News:
. . . But one thing seems clear: Paul’s filibuster had no significant impact on the daily conduct of the drone war.
“Sen. Paul’s 13 hours on the Senate floor won’t have any practical effect on our policy and how we’re going after terrorists on a day-to-day basis,” a senior administration official told Yahoo News on condition of anonymity.
But didn’t Paul wring a letter out of Obama’s top lawyer, Attorney General Eric Holder, in which he effectively promised that Americans who aren’t lining up to take a shot at the Capitol with a grenade launcher (to paraphrase the senator) are safe?
In a word: No…
During his 13 hours on the Senate floor, Paul repeatedly asked whether Obama believed he had the authority to kill an American, on U.S. soil, who was not “actively attacking” America…
“Dear Senator Paul,” Holder said in a 43-word letter. “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Holder didn’t use the phrase “actively attacking.” And administration officials privately agreed on Friday that “not engaged in combat” was the key phrase going forward. None of them agreed to define the expression on the record.