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Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Featured, Military, Politics, Terrorism, War | 12 comments

Rand Paul Filibuster on Drones Gains Support in Senate

Rand Paul filibuster on drones gains support in Senate (via AFP)

Republican Rand Paul stiff-armed President Barack Obama’s CIA nomination Wednesday, drawing support from fellow senators concerned about the administration’s refusal to rule out drone strikes on US soil. With the blocking tactic stretching into it’s sixth hour, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried…

  • The_Ohioan

    It’s 9:48 PM and Sen. Paul has been picking up support, and allowed short breaks, by several Republican senators – right now Sen. Barrasso – and one Democratic Sentor – Wyden. These guys will never pass up an opportunity no matter how sleazy. Sen. Cruz is now on and I couldn’t be prouder of any Senator I’ve ever watched speak in this chamber than I am of him. Such erudition, such powerful speaking; it brings tears to my eyes.

    Senator Paul has been clever enough to cement his run for president in 2016 without facing one primary opponent, paying one dime to a political operative, or answering one question from a Democrat. All on the taxpayer’s dime. I really didn’t think he had it in him; that’s the problem with underestimating a demagogue – it’s dangerous.

    The questions are, of course, hypothetical as are any possible answers to them. Originally an exposition on a non-event, it has now expanded to questioning the legislative, judicial, and executive branches powers to conduct any of their duties. A true libertarian’s view of government.

    Absolutely fascinating!

  • The_Ohioan
  • Bob Munck

    I don’t hold much brief with Rand Paul, but he’s right about this.

    Holder’s “extraordinary circumstance” argument is disingenuous; the same argument could be made in favor of a law allowing the President to drop an atomic bomb on a US city under “extraordinary circumstances.”

  • The_Ohioan

    I would hesitate to compare dropping an atomic bomb on a US city to using a drone to take out an American who has caused a catastrophic event to occur and is unable to be captured.

    Both situations are so outside the realm of reason, let alone probablilty, that only a demagogue would even consider using them to further his political ambitions.

  • Bob Munck

    @The_Ohioan: they’re both extralegal killing; the difference is quantitative, not qualitative. They’re both about a President being allowed to kill innocent Americans; remember “innocent until proven guilty.”

    You say that both are beyond reason and probability. If that’s true, why do we need to write one of them into law? There are a huge number of other improbable hypothetical events that we haven’t bothered to write laws about — billions of billions of them.

    It’s bad enough that we allow our national and state governments to kill people. Writing a law under which the President is allowed to kill an American citizen by his own decision is insane.

  • The_Ohioan

    Well, I’ve never been good at circular reasoning; a person must remain “innocent until proven guilty” and yet because he can’t be captured will never be given a trial and proven guilty – that is; he must remain innocent no matter his past and probable future actions.

    You make my argument that we don’t need to make laws (or spend money, or suspend civil liberties) for hypothetical events whether they are to be executed by state, national, or presidential authority.

    I’ve yet to be convinced that Americans that can’t be captured and be proven guilty in a courtroom also can’t be tried in absentia and proven guilty. Which is entirely different from allowing a president to simply pull names out of a hat and decide to kill one or more of them. No one is suggesting that no information about their actions should be required before targeting them. In fact overwhelming information should be available – but to limit that information to that which would have been exposed in a civil trial, especially sensetive information that could cause further harm to Americans, seems a goal too far. But I’m not a lawyer and do not know what the laws are, though I do know what hypothetical situations are. And situation ethics are a bear.

  • dduck

    And situation ethics are a bear.

    You got that right, Ohio.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    The U.S. does not have the authority to use a drone attack against a U.S. citizen not engaged in combat on U.S. soil, Attorney General Eric Holder told Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in a Thursday letter.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney revealed the letter at his Thursday press briefing. It was sent in response to a 13-hour filibuster Paul held on the Senate floor Wednesday to criticize the administration’s drone policy.

    Read more here

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    These are buddies for you:

    Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Thursday went after Sen. Rand Paul’s talking filibuster of CIA director nominee John Brennan, calling the Kentucky Republican’s claim that the U.S. could have hypothetically conducted a drone strike on Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War “ridiculous.”

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also slammed Ron Paul

    Read more here

    Edited: Sorry Steve, didn’t see yours

  • Bob Munck

    circular reasoning; … he must remain innocent no matter his past and probable future actions.

    I don’t know what you think is circular about that. Innocent until proven guilty.

    tried in absentia and proven guilty.

    I’m OK with that: either trial in absentia or a warrant from a court that’s subject to judicial review, appeal, or even congressional oversight. The point is that the President or any other government official should not have the sole authority to make such a decision.

  • The_Ohioan

    Perhaps a re-read of the first half of that sentence would explain my concept of circular reasoning.

    Neither the President nor any other government official has the sole authority now. The myth that the President can take out anyone he wants without any justification is just that – a myth.

    There is a security procedure in place in which many people and factors must exercise their authority before the President exercises his authority. Should we know what those authorities and procedures are? Yes. Should the Congress know and make any changes to those authorities and procedures they deem necessary? Yes. Will they do so and screw it up? Possibly. That’s the way things work in a democracy. Which is why electing congress folk who are smart and have integrity is so important; and which is why Citizens United may be the ultimate downfall of our republic.

    The Congress may pass any legislation which limits the President’s power that passes a constitutional challenge. And spurious charges of presidential overreach weaken rather than strengthen our republic. Boys crying “Wolf”.

  • The_Ohioan

    Here’s the vote: Dems. Leahy, Merkley and Ind. Sanders voted against.

    Paul voted nay. Rising star Rubio got to filibuster and then voted yea. Nothing like having it both ways. 🙂

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