Rand Paul Filibustering Brennan Nomination

Mr. Paul Goes To Washington.

U.S. Senate Members Hold Inaugural Tea Party Caucus Meeting

For roughly the last three hours as of the time this post is being written, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has held the floor of the Senate in an effort to block a vote on the nomination of John Brennan to head to the CIA:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is staging a talking filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“I’m here to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination to be director of CIA,” Paul said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I will speak for as long as it takes.

“I will speak today until the president says, ‘no’ he will not kill you at a café.”

Paul has said he wants more answers from the administration on whether American citizens can be targeted by armed drones inside the United States before he’ll lift his filibuster on Brennan’s nomination.

The senator has spoken from the Senate floor for more than two hours so far.

“No American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being found guilty of a crime,” Paul said. “That an American could be killed on American soil is an abomination.”

 

Paul noted that his throat was getting dry as he passed the one-hour mark of the talking filibuster, which has become rare in the upper chamber. Senators are allowed to filibuster without commanding the floor, so few choose to hold up nominations or legislation by speaking.

“This is the first time I’ve come to the floor to use a true talking filibuster,” Paul said. “It almost never happens. … I don’t think I’ve ever seen some one come and speak in a filibuster before.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said earlier Wednesday that he had hoped to have a vote on Brennan’s nomination so that lawmakers could leave town before a snowstorm prevented members from heading home for the weekend.

The Senate Intelligence panel in a 12-3 vote on Tuesday approved Brennan, but Paul has said he will keep his filibuster going until President Obama says he will not kill Americans by drone attack on American soil.

“Has America the beautiful become ‘Alice in Wonderland’?” Paul said. “When I asked the president can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer — an unequivocal no.

“But his answer was, ‘I haven’t killed anyone yet and I have no intention of killing Americans, but I might.’ ”

Paul said the possibility that a citizen could be targeted without being charged in the courts went against the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which gives citizens the right to a trial by a jury of their peers.

“The Fifth Amendment should also protect you from a president who might kill you with a drone,” Paul said. “No American should be killed in their house without a warrant. … But [Obama] says trust him, he hasn’t done it yet.

The last time we saw a true talking filibuster on the floor of the Senate was back in December 2010 when Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took to the floor of the Senate for roughly nine hours to speak out against the deal that President Obama had made with Republicans to extend the Bush Tax Cuts. That speech, however, wasn’t really a true filibuster since it wasn’t really disrupting Senate business and was done largely with the consent of Senate leadership. That isn’t the case this time. Paul is holding up a vote on the Brennan nomination, which will likely pass when a vote actually occurs.

Paul says that he will continue this filibuster until he gets an answer from the Obama Administration regarding the use of drone strikes on American soil that is far less ambiguous than the one that Attorney General Holder issued late yesterday. He’s spent a good deal of his time pointing out the hypocrisy of the left on this issue, arguing quite convincingly that their silence over drone strikes under President Obama is starkly different from their justified criticism of the Bush Administration’s extraordinary tactics in the War On Terror. He’s also raised legitimate concerns about the use of military force on American soil, something that ought to be illegal under the  Posse Comitatus Act. Given that fact, it would seem as though the answer to Paul’s original question to Holder is crystal clear, which just makes it even more strange that the Administration has chosen to be so ambiguous about what ought to be an easy question.

Another question Paul is raising goes to the question of targeting non-combatants, or ore precisely the idea of carrying out strikes against supposed targets with little regard for the collateral damage. As we’ve seen in both Pakistan and Afghanistan over the years, it is the killing of innocent civilians in drone strikes that has raised the most public ire against the U.S. and, arguably, served to create new American enemies in nations where the people already have a negative opinion of the United States. Along with the targeted killing of Americans and the exceedingly important Constitutional issues it raises, this is another topic that rarely gets discussed in the United States.

Paul’s filibuster can’t last forever, of course, and Brennan is likely to get confirmed at some point. However, the Senator is raising important questions that we deserve answers to from the Administration. For that, at least, he deserves some thanks.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Intelligence, National Security, Terrorism, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. josh says:

    “He’s spent a good deal of his time pointing out the hypocrisy of the left on this issue, arguing quite convincingly that their silence over drone strikes under President Obama is starkly different from their justified criticism of the Bush Administration’s extraordinary tactics in the War On Terror.”

    I see this all the time, and I don’t get it. Because Michael Moore isn’t doing a documentary on it, “the left” is being hypocritical? I hate the group-think, but I don’t know of any liberals who haven’t taken issue with Obama on drones. Glenn Greenwald anyone?

  2. Jeremy says:

    @josh:

    Maybe all the folks in the Administration? Maybe Toure? Or pundits across the liberal pundisphere? Senators? Representatives?

    Really? You never heard a liberal who supported Obama’s drone policies? Which liberals are you talking to? Or not talking to?

  3. C. Clavin says:

    “…their silence over drone strikes under President Obama is starkly different from their justified criticism of the Bush Administration’s extraordinary tactics in the War On Terror…”

    I understand that Rand Paul is a huge Libertarian hero of yours..I’m sure you are watching C-Span and touching yourself inappropriately…but you are jumping the shark if you don’t see the difference between drone strikes on enemy combatants in the theater of war…and the institutionalization of torture of prisoners who are under our power. Apples and orangutans.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    “…I will speak today until the president says, ‘no’ he will not kill you at a café…”

    He will not kill you in a house.
    He will not kill you with a mouse.
    He will not kill you here or there.
    He will not kill you anyhere.
    He will not kill you with green eggs and ham.
    He will not kill you Rand-I-am.

    Speaking to them in childrens rhymes may actually be the only way to reach Libertarians and Republicans.

  5. Foster Boondoggle says:

    I’m really curious what Sen. Paul thinks about concealed carry and “stand your ground” laws, which seem to empower pretty much anyone to execute their own personal “lethal drone strike” (albeit without the drone) anytime they feel threatened. No 6th amendment, no 5th amendment, no government involvement at all.

    Does Sen. Paul think that VP Cheney would have been within his authority on 9/11/2001 to order the destruction of a commercial airplane threatening Washington DC? (It would have been Cheney, seeing as GWB was hiding under a desk in an undisclosed location.) If not, under what circumstances would an administration be authorized to use lethal force to protect the nation? This seems like an exercise in getting worked up for the sake of The Base, and nothing more.

    What’s got the right riled up about Holder’s entirely down to earth and reasonable response to a wild hypothetical is that the person in the White House is not a republican.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    “I will speak today until the president says, ‘no’ he will not kill you at a café.”

    What’s the deal, is he in the pocket of the Cafe lobby? Why should that be a safe place?

    Some other important questions: Would you kill us in a house? Would you kill us with a mouse? Would you kill us in a box? Would you kill us with a fox? Would you kill us in a boat? Would you kill us with a goat?

  7. PD Shaw says:

    @C. Clavin: Very weird, I was thinking the same thing, but you beat me to it.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    @ C. Clavin comment at 14:26…
    I’m completely open to and would welcome additional oversight of the drone program and have said as much on these blog posts before. I am a supporter of them in general…but not so much the specific way they are operated today. That does not mean I want to see Al-Awalki a free man while we try to get a dysfunctional and incompetent Congress get it’s shit together.
    Having said that…conflating drone stikes with torture is just so much BS.

  9. legion says:

    This seems like it could use an injection of Devil’s Advocate Juice… The government, in the form of law enforcement officers, kills American citizens on American soil every single day. Without trial. What exactly does adding the word “drone” to this debate change?

  10. Jeremy says:

    To josh, I rest my case.

  11. However, the Senator is raising important questions that we deserve answers to from the Administration. For that, at least, he deserves some thanks.

    Thanks? Gimme a break….

    I’ll thank a grandstanding senator the exact moment they write me a check, and even then, I’ll only be thanking them for giving me money.

  12. de stijl says:

    Good on Rand for doing it the filibuster the old-fashioned way.

    A hold or filibuster should be the Senate equivalent of being the vegan guy who doesn’t have a car, smokes American Spirits in the back seat and demands to go the Indian restaurant on the other side of town.

    It should be an imposition. It should hurt both the imposer and the body as a whole. Face it: the filibuster is a dick move: “I know all y’all are against me, but I’m going to prevent you from moving forward just ‘cuz I can.”

    Holds are a dick move beyond the pale and should be banned, but the filibuster has some limited, regulated usage, but as I’ve noted, should be painful and rare.

  13. Rob in CT says:

    My unqualified praise to Senator Paul.

    Ronald Reagan once said that someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is not your enemy. Well, I probably agree with Paul 20% of the time (if that). I still think Reagan’s point remains: on this, Rand Paul is my ally. We can disagree about everything else some other time.

    Also, too: REAL FILIBUSTER, YOU GUYS!

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Isn’t Rand a Senator?
    Why doesn’t he get some other Senators together, AT A CAFE, and…oh…what do you call it…PASS SOME LEGISLATION providing for oversight of the drone program? Why not make it illegal for the President to kill him AT A CAFE?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0
    Rand is the biggest whiney-assed-titty-baby in a big marble building full of whiney-assed-titty-babies.

  15. Fiona says:

    I have to admire the guy for actually getting up on the floor to filibuster the old-fashioned way over a genuine issue. I’m not thrilled with Holder’s answer on the drone question. He should have simply said no.

  16. PD Shaw says:

    @legion: “What exactly does adding the word “drone” to this debate change?”

    A blatant appeal to technophobia?

  17. C. Clavin says:

    @ Fiona…

    “…He should have simply said no…”

    I actually considered this for a moment. Then I realized they would just use that to make the administration look weak on terrorists.
    What I would love to see is the President walk onto the floor of the Senate and make a fool of this clown.

  18. Ben Wolf says:

    @C. Clavin: Your party supports global murder programs just as much as Republicans do. No attempt to restrain the President’s powers will ever pass, so it’s silly to argue Rand Paul should just pass legislation all on his own.

    That you hurl insults at him when he does the only thing in his power to impede extension of the drone program to U.S. soil (and that’s the only reason anyone would nominate an amoral toad like John Brennan to CIA) speaks volumes about your priorities, and they aren’t with preserving civil and constitutional liberties.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Foster Boondoggle:

    (It would have been Cheney, seeing as GWB was hiding under a desk in an undisclosed location.)

    As much as I disliked Bush, as much as I hated (and still do) Cheney, as disgusted as I was with the amoralistic cabal that was the Bush Admin, that is a slur not called for. The country was under attack. Bush was in NOLA when it began. The Secret Service HAD to protect the President. They also had to protect the VP. So they put the VP in the secure bunker under the White House, and got the Pres out of NOLA and out of harms way until they could figure things out.

    Most people can see that as common sense. Why can’t you?

  20. C. Clavin says:

    “…No attempt to restrain the President’s powers will ever pass…’

    And why is that? Because they are a bunch of babies unwilling and largly incapable of governing. Oversight is their role. Perform your role. How did a FISA court get established?

    “…That you hurl insults at him when he does the only thing in his power to impede extension of the drone program to U.S. soil (and that’s the only reason anyone would nominate an amoral toad like John Brennan to CIA)…”

    That’s a paranoid leap bordering on conspiracy theory.

  21. @Ben Wolf:

    “they aren’t with preserving civil and constitutional liberties.”

    Really?

    You know who else doesn’t give a rip about preserving your civil and constitutional liberties? Terrorists that get killed by drones.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @ Ozark…
    You are correct, of course. For me the image of them as chicken shits is rooted in their cowardly response and resultant over-reaction.

  23. Chris says:

    It’s an important question, and it speaks to a big worry of mine.

    Very often I find myself sitting in Starbucks, enjoying a skinny latte, and thinking “Man, I really hope Obama doesn’t launch a drone strike on this cafe and kill me.”

  24. matt bernius says:

    @legion:

    What exactly does adding the word “drone” to this debate change?

    A lot actually.

    Like it or not, drones (note: I’m using this as a short hand for hunter/killer drones versus other types) have profoundly transformed warfare. Or rather, they are a critical tool for executing asymmetrical warfare against a dispersed, non-state enemy. A new, (post-)modern weapon, for a new, (post-)modern type of war.

    Ultimately, all of this (in my mind) really boils down to a question of the preemptive war coming home. It seems to me that no one — including Paul — is questioning whether or not a drone can be used against an attack in progress.

    But the fact is that drones have come to equal preemptive warfare. They strike when individual are not actively participating in a traditional battle with no other allied forces present.

    And given that the War on Terror has led to an extreme rise in preemptive policing, it isn’t some huge jump to get concerned about other types of preemption finding their way home.

    Again, if the administration was willing to try and draw a bright line on this, it would be one thing. But the nature of the Executive branch in recent years (at least since GWB) is to try and preserve it’s power and flexibility. And at least in this case, its a bit problematic.

    All that said, the idea of drone strikes in cafe’s is raging hyperbole. But, again, I tend to agree with those who say, if this debate was taking place under the Bush administration, a lot of people would most likely be holding the exact opposite positions.

  25. legion says:

    @PD Shaw: Or to try and blame some “new” evil on Hussein Obama; as though he personally invented it?

  26. C. Clavin says:

    Matt…

    “…Again, if the administration was willing to try and draw a bright line on this, it would be one thing…”

    It’s not the Executives job to draw a brightline on this. Congress needs to perform it’s role of oversight. That’s one of the reasons that big white building with the dome exists. Instead spoiled frat boys like Paul want to preen and grandstand and feed the base in anticipation of losing to Clinton in 2016. Congress does not have the balls it takes to perform their Constitutional duty. Blaming Holder or Obama is nonsense.

  27. PD Shaw says:

    I was late to some of the discussions about this topic, so I don’t know if people have cited U.S. law:

    The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it— (1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or (2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.”

    (10 U.S.C. sec. 333 (formerly known as a portion of the Klu Klux Klan (Civl Rights) Act of 1871)

    Basically, the President has emergency powers under the Constitution and by statute, when the situation rises to the level which we would normally expect immediate action, and not the introduction of legislation or initiation of judicial action.

  28. legion says:

    @matt bernius: They do change the nature of _war_, but I think that’s a different topic to the one being raised in the Senate now, at least as related to Holder’s testimony the other day…

    My point is that if the US Gov’t decided to, in effect, summarily execute an American citizen on American soil, why would it matter if it was done by drone or by sniper or by dumping Polonium in his tea? The entire concept is utterly abhorrent and in opposition to any sort of free society. _That’s_ what should be upsetting people.

    And even in regards to “regular” wartime use of drones, there’s still a major stumbling block: the Geneva Conventions are pretty explicit about the use of “uniformed military members” in actual combat operations. Technically, any time a CIA employee triggers a Hellfire from a drone, we’re committing a war crime. We’re erasing the divide between civilians and military in our own operations, and that should terrify a lot more people than it currently does…

  29. legion says:

    @PD Shaw: Quite so. But the question then becomes – when does that situation arise? Does a state have to request federal aid? At what point does the President get to say “That state’s just full of idiots! I gotta do something!” The first scenario that comes to my mind would be Little Rock desegregation case…

  30. Spartacus says:

    @matt bernius:

    All that said, the idea of drone strikes in cafe’s is raging hyperbole.

    That’s true, but I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to think that a less lethal, albeit still deadly, drone could be used the next time a domestic nutcase (e.g. Timothy McVeigh or Ted Kaczinsky) is hiding out in some heavily wooded remote area and threatening more killings.

    The convenience of drones makes it difficult to accept the costs of pursuing capture. I don’t know that those costs will always be considered acceptable for domestic cases particularly if the killing power of drones can be lessened.

  31. al-Ameda says:

    So, dropping bombs on targets from 30,000 feet is preferable to Drone attacks on the same, or, in the domestic context, sending a tank in to assault the Waco/Koresh Compound, is preferrable to a Drone attack on the same?

    I do not understand this so-called principled filibuster.

  32. Foster Boondoggle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sure. Cheney just took over on his own authority during 9/11, and then retroactively got Bush to say it was OK. I know all hell was breaking loose and nobody knew what was going on — apparently including the Prez. I was near the Mall when the Pentagon was hit, and was expecting scenes of apocalypse. It was a mess.

    But my point stands: would an administration official – I don’t care who – be authorized to protect the country if it meant killing US citizens on American soil? It’s a trolley problem. If you answer “no”, as Rand Paul appears to, you have to explain what your view is of the possible actions that Bush/Cheney could have taken on that unfortunate day – and most likely why they’re different than what the de facto head of the Tea Party seems to think is acceptable for Obama.

  33. PD Shaw says:

    @legion: The Bush (I) administration deployed federal troops to Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots with authority to use lethal force under this provision. Local authorities requested assistance, but I think if the nature of the problem was more clearly of a federal nature, such permission would not be obligatory.

  34. Shorter GOP: We can torture a terrorist that’s a ticking time-bomb but, dear Lord, we can’t shoot him with a drone!

  35. gVOR08 says:

    @Foster Boondoggle:

    Does Sen. Paul think that VP Cheney would have been within his authority on 9/11/2001 to order the destruction of a commercial airplane threatening Washington DC?

    That is not a hypothetical. Based on an erroneous report of an airliner approaching DC, Cheney did in fact order civil airliners shot down. For a time, he thought the order had been carried out. IOKIYAR I guess. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50745-2004Jun17.html

  36. Andre Kenji says:

    The point about drones is that they are silent killers. They are operated in areas where reporters or other people have no access, sometimes there is no access by road. That´s the problem: a drone is not used in a cafe because then reporters and people would see the damage. That BBC woman that traveled to Pakistan to produce that Panorama episoda is the only one that I saw TALKING with people that live where drones are used.

  37. anjin-san says:

    I was at Peet’s having a latte this afternoon, and Obama damn near killed me. It was a close thing.

  38. C. Clavin says:

    This is hilarious…Cheney famously argued that terrorism is not a law enforcement issue but a military issue. Now Republicans are arguing that terrorism is not a military issue…and that it is the Obama administration that is overstepping reasonable bounds. It was Republicans who established a boundary free never ending war. Now Republicans are criticizing the Obama administration for something they really haven’t claimed. It was Republicans who eliminated due process and habeus corpus and tortured people as a matter of course. Now Republicans are not happy with what they have wrought.
    Republicans are idiots. There is no other conclusion possible.

  39. Dazedandconfused says:

    He’s grandstanding to raise his profile. A lot less work than crafting laws to prevent whateveritis he wants people to think he is worried about.

    Much easier to use his power as a Senator to block things until Justice answers his loaded questions, and then get outrage and contribution mileage on the “scary” statements “this Administration is making”. I read he formed his own board of certification in ophthalmology and re-certified himself when he was in that biz. Some folks know they born too smart for “those stupid rules” that most must abide by.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    I’m watching C-Span…Incoherence. Total incoherence.

  41. Jc says:

    Rand is using a drone strike, he just drones on and on and on….Zzzzzzz. I’ll bet he is all for having drones patrol our borders and blast away those darn illegals. What’s the difference between a drone, a missle or a bullet. All of which the government could use to kill you by accident and could cause collateral damage.

  42. @al-Ameda:

    in the domestic context, sending a tank in to assault the Waco/Koresh Compound, is preferrable to a Drone attack on the same?

    Ahem, and who was President want tanks were assaulting the Branch Davidian Compound?

  43. Scott says:

    @Rob in CT: Late to this party but my two cents: I have to admire Paul in this instance. If civil libertarians were smart, they would back him to the hilt. If Democrats were smart (and I’m not saying they are) they would say, “You know, you’re right!. Let’s ban this right now, encode it in law, and here’s the other list of civil liberties we want reinforced”.

  44. Davebo says:

    Can we stop with the Waco references already?

    If it had been a meth lab I’m fairly sure law enforcement wouldn’t have camped out for over 50 days trying to peacefully resolve the situation.

    It’s time to call these references what they are. Strawmen developed by lazy minds.

  45. Davebo says:

    @Scott: Civil Libertarians don’t really exist. If they do Rand Paul (and Doug) certainly can’t be counted among them.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @ Scott…

    “…You know, you’re right!. Let’s ban this right now, encode it in law, and here’s the other list of civil liberties we want reinforced…”

    Actually I watched C-Span for a bit last night to see the grandstanding for myself.
    What Rand was saying boils down to; “There are laws that cover all of this right now as I speak…but I don’t trust this Democratic administration because they are Democrats…and so I’m going to hold my breath and stomp my feet until I have to go to the bathroom.”
    This was preening and grandstanding and the kickoff of a ’16 Presidential campaign. Period. And his reference to Obama as Hitler (but not really Hitler but yeah just like Hitler) makes the entire thing completely irrelevant.

  47. matt bernius says:

    To be clear, I think that anyone who supported “enhanced interrogation” and is up in arms about this issue is a hypocrite. I also think that — if GWB or Romney was the president, a lot more liberals would be concerned about this.

    Thanks to those who have cited the actual law and recent cases of the Military being deployed within the US during State’s of Emergency. I also agree with @C. Clavin’s point that Congress should step up and get with the regulating.

  48. josh says:

    @Jeremy: Well, let’s start with how we learned about the drone policy: the so-called liberal media (Michael Isikoff’s leak of the WH white paper); I’ve read a lot of Glen Greenwald on the subject; Ron Wyden was fillibustering alongside Rand Paul last night; here’s a brief result from our friend Google; http://www.examiner.com/list/top-12-liberal-democrats-who-oppose-president-obama-s-drone-kill-list-policy. While I’m sure you can cite a liberal that supports the policy, I seen at as the majority, despite conclusory assertions otherwise.

  49. josh says:

    @Jeremy: So you’re resting your case based on the 5 comments that preceded you on this thread? I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer …

  50. Rob in CT says:

    if GWB or Romney was the president, a lot more liberals would be concerned about this

    Clearly true.

    And GOP voters don’t really have a leg to stand on here, since theoretical POTUS Romney in no way indicated he would improve matters.

    And that’s the problem: expecting a President – any President – to curb his own power is wishful thinking. Obama proved this rather decisively (2007-08 Obama vs. present-day Obama). Congress is where the change must occur.

    One of the things that I think hampers civil libertarians is that it’s hard to get those on the Left and those on the Right to join forces (for reasons that are rather obvious, I think). Yeah, sure, Paul filibustered and Ron Wyden joined in briefly. That’s nice. I mean something more substantive.

    Here’s hoping this little stunt instigates some more substantive action.

  51. Rob in CT says:

    edit to the above: Romney voters, not “GOP voters.” Someone who voted for, say, Rand Paul or Ron Wyden or some libertarian HoR candidate and Gary Johnson for POTUS has a leg to stand on with regard to civil liberties (particularly in a non-competitive state).

    Most of us are LOTE voters, though, and there are good reasons for that.

  52. G.A.Phiilips says:

    if GWB or Romney was the president, a lot more liberals would be concerned about this.

    And the media might give a crap too…

    He should have read rules for radicals when up there.

    If Bush was turning America into an armed camp wtih federal employes like Obama is would the liberals be defending him and making stupid cafe jokes over and over again? I think not.

  53. C. Clavin says:

    “…turning America into an armed camp wtih federal employes like Obama is…”

    You win the award for the dumbest f’ing comment today. Pretty much no chance of being topped in the next twelve hours. Congratulations.

  54. Davebo says:

    @G.A.Phiilips:

    I think not.

    And you make that clear with every comment.

  55. Scott says:

    Common theme I read in the comments above runs like this: “Rand Paul is against drones killing Americans. I agree with him but because Rand is a Tea Party nutcase, a hypocrite, and insincere, I am against him.” Rather than calling him out on this alleged hypocrisy through the act of agreeing with him, you’d rather keep calling him names.

    I see some of the commenters as having psychologically the same mind set as the Tea Partiers. “I’m against them because of who they are, not what they believe, say, or do”.

  56. @Rob in CT:

    “And GOP voters don’t really have a leg to stand on here, since theoretical POTUS Romney in no way indicated he would improve matters.”

    Not only that, but if anyone thinks Sen Paul would be allowed to filibuster Romney’s CIA appointee over drones is smoking crack. Ole Mitch McConnell would say “We don’t need you to do that,” and Paul would roll over, because while he may call himself a “libertarian,” he’s actually –like his father before him– a Republican politician.

    This though…..

    Here’s hoping this little stunt instigates some more substantive action.

    Man, I don’t know. Stunts rarely result in much of anything, especially when they have a self-serving component to them. (It’s already been mentioned that Rand has Ron style presidential aspirations.)

    My advice: Don’t rely on the “rationally self-interested” to do things for you. Write YOUR congressman instead. Just don’t be surprised when they write back to say that “drones killing American citizens” is not a real problem.

  57. anjin-san says:

    making stupid cafe jokes

    A while back some asshole with a gun took over a restaurant a ways down the road from me. He started doing not very nice things with the women inside. After an hour or two of this a police sniper put a bullet in his brain. No act of Congress, no judicial review. The commander on the scene (probably after consulting the Chief and the Mayor) gave the kill order, and there was one less asshole in the world.

    I can’t remember any Republicans going into hysterics afterwards.

    So yes, I see the behavior of conservatives as deserving some ribbing.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    Look at history…Carter reined in the CIA…then Reagan issued order 12333 which put the CIA back in business and essentially said that the CIA wasn’t allowed to assassinate people unless it decided to in which case it wouldn’t be called assassination.
    Rand and Republicans don’t care one bit about any of this. They want to score political points. If Rand cared he would be suggesting legislation…but he is not. He is running for President. At which point (in Libertarian dream land) he will target people for drone strikes.

  59. G.A.Phiilips says:

    You win the award for the dumbest f’ing comment today. Pretty much no chance of being topped in the next twelve hours. Congratulations.

    So he is not?

    And you make that clear with every comment

    wow thats funny, you are so clever.

    You must understand that getting rule fived from tactics by a couple of dumb *** brain washed liberlas means nothing to me?

    lol, every time I try to be nice on here a couple of sad ******* jerkoffs drag me back into the gutter…sigh…

  60. G.A.Phiilips says:

    “The delusion of the left is so strong that it’s source can only be God.”

    There, wrap your tiny minds around that one for a while….

  61. G.A.Phiilips says:

    A while back some asshole with a gun took over a restaurant a ways down the road from me. He started doing not very nice things with the women inside. After an hour or two of this a police sniper put a bullet in his brain. No act of Congress, no judicial review. The commander on the scene (probably after consulting the Chief and the Mayor) gave the kill order, and there was one less asshole in the world.

    lol ya **** it! fill the skies with armed spy drones under the will of a ****tard who as to the evidence has never read the Constitution . Anjin has nailed it!

  62. Earlier I had said the “drones killing Americans” thing is not a real problem. Michael Crowley puts it this way:

    But it’s worth remembering how narrow, and perhaps even academic this issue is. Only one American–the now-deceased Anwar al-Awlaki–has been targeted for drone execution. Three others have been what they call “collateral damage” in attacks on other targets. None of those actions occurred on American soil. Rand Paul has every right to press this question. But it’s almost an academic exercise when compared to the more relevant questions of how reliant we should be on drone strikes against non-U.S. citizens in foreign countries. And it has very little do with John Brennan’s ability to run the CIA, an agency that is quite clearly barred from operating within the United States.

    Thanks, Rand, for wasting so much time by raising a BS point.

  63. G.A.Phiilips says:

    And it has very little do with John Brennan’s ability to run the CIA

    And I thought this Muslim convert writes Obama’s drone kill list?Yup, nothing to do with this whole situation..

  64. C. Clavin says:

    “…this Muslim convert…”

    Well…I have to admit I was wrong…you actually managed to out-dumb yourself.

  65. C. Clavin says:

    @ Herb…
    Rand Paul is clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But it’s interesting when you also consider guys like Paul Ryan…Ayn Rand sycophants…it’s like these young Republicans never progressed beyond stoned-out-dorm-room discussions. I mean what’s next? Is he going to hold up the next nominee until the President weighs in on Styx versus Foreigner?

  66. Surreal American says:

    @C. Clavin:

    There is no “Peak Stupid” when it comes to G.A. Phillips. His idiocy is a renewable resource.

  67. mantis says:

    Second letter from Holder to Paul:

    Dear Senator Paul:

    It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does thePresident have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged incombat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no.

    Eric H. Holder, Jr.

    Unequivocal enough?

  68. @C. Clavin:

    “ut it’s interesting when you also consider guys like Paul Ryan…Ayn Rand sycophants…it’s like these young Republicans never progressed beyond stoned-out-dorm-room discussions. “

    Man, ain’t that the truth.

    I just keep thinking back to the Four Loko controversy Libertarians were all incensed over not too long ago.

    Four Loko has killed more Americans than drones…but Four Loko’s not a problem…..oh no. When a government bans Four Loko, it’s a blow to freedom.

    But when a drone doesn’t kill a non-terrorist American anywhere…..deploy the Paul.

    It’s almost like Libertarians have no concept of what’s a problem and what’s not.

  69. the Q says:

    Does the President..I mean the Fuhrer. have the right to kill Jews who may be plotting his murder since they are dastardly “terrorists” who are subversively plotting the overthrow of the government.

    All the libs on this blog would say NO!

    But substitute “Americans” for Jews and they say YES.

    Amazing. Sorry, the usual idiots on here who are pointing out the hypocrisy, are for the first time right on.

    If someone asked Holder, “can the president lock up a whole race of people in concentration camps and deprive them of their rights, if said people originate from the country with which we are at war”….

    I guess to some of you the answer would be “well, never say never” or “thats such an extreme case it could never happen”

    Well, think again. Unbelievable how partisanship trumps logic. And here, I only thought the wingnuts are blind partisan idiots, but I guess stupidity knows no political boundaries.

    Hey the nut case in N. Korea just threatened to nuke us, so send in the drones, where are the drones, there ought to be drones, don’t bother they’re here.

  70. David M says:

    @the Q:

    I think the secret service has been around a while, not sure why drones change anything.

  71. the Q says:

    David, I think thats the point, we have the SS and the CIA and the FBI and police and the Armed Forces and due process, so why let the President be judge jury and executioner when all these other agencies exist. This is a power grab by Obusha. There’s no daylight between the ex chimp in chief and O.

    Lets say I am President Jenos Idarian and I think Mike Reynolds should be killed since I am President and this dude is destroying me on OTB and he is a threat to “America”.

    Of course this is a billion to one chance and an absurd analogy, but it should be a zero chance and I am not so sure that if a guy as evil as Cheney ever got to be Prez, that it wouldn’t be used and justified.

    After all, he did exactly that, not murdering one U.S. citizen, but scores of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

    Again amazing the libs are basically siding with this lunatic on this issue.