Originally published March 9 2013
Rand Paul victory for human rights as President Obama backs away from his desire to kill Americans with drones
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Americans concerned about President Obama's sustained assault on the Constitution have Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, to thank for beating back administration tyranny - at least for the time being.
As most Natural News readers already know, Paul took to the floor of the Senate on the evening of March 6 to stage a nearly 13-hour marathon filibuster of President Obama's choice to head the CIA, John O. Brennan, because Brennan voiced support during his confirmation hearing for an earlier administration position indicating the White House believed it was okay to use drones to kill American citizens on U.S. soil without regard to due process.
Finally - a political hero America sorely needs
Paul's effort was the single most politically heroic act his party has undertaken since his father, the now-retired congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, last stood up for the Constitution while he was still serving (which was nearly on a daily basis). And in doing so, he managed to accomplish something the pathetic leadership of his own party has habitually failed to do, much less even attempt: Force this administration to back down from its grasp at lawlessness..
Just hours after the Kentucky senator ended his filibuster, he received a letter from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Though short and terse, the AG finally gave Paul a direct answer to a direct question: Do you feel the administration has the authority to use armed drones against American citizens on U.S. soil?
"Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil? The answer is no," the letter said, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, who read it aloud to reporters during a press conference March 7.
Versions of the letter published online verify what Carney said.
"I'm very pleased to have gotten this response back from the Attorney General of the United States," Paul said on the Senate floor the next day. "To me, I think the entire battle was worthwhile."
A few other members of his party were pleased as well. The senior senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, voiced his approval , but only after Paul was successful.
Other members of the Old Republican Guard were not as praiseworthy. In fact, a few of them were as critical of Paul as were members of the opposite party.
Sen. John McCain, who lost his presidential race to Obama, was the most vicious. He called Rand (and fellow serving patriots who stood with him) "wacko birds," and essentially castigated them for standing up for the rule of law.
"It's always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone," he told the Huffington Post. "I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They're not."
When asked to clarify which Republicans he meant, McCain answered:
Rand Paul, (Texas Sen. Ted) Cruz, (Michigan Rep. Justin) Amash, whoever.
How's that for courage?
Another long-serving senator who is, quite simply, part of the problem
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham leveled similar criticism at Paul, demonstrating that he, too, is part of the liberty-robbing cabal in Washington.
Describing Paul's stand as "ill-informed," Graham, a veteran of freedom-stealing compromise that disgusts the vast majority of Americans, went on to try and re-frame the issue as something it was never intended to be:
I don't worry about [drones killing Americans]. Here's what I worry about: that al-Qaeda has killed 2,958 of us and is going to add to the total if we let our guard down. And I will do everything in my power to protect this president - who I disagree with a lot - and future presidents in having an ill-informed Congress take over the legitimate authority under the Constitution and the laws of this land to be the Commander in Chief on behalf of all of us.
Paul never said he did not think the U.S. government should end the drone program. What he did was ask a simple question, based on a position that Holder appeared to take on the issue at an earlier date: Does the administration support using drone strikes to kill Americans on U.S. soil without due process of law?
That question was entirely appropriate. In fact, it should not have to have been asked by a junior member of the Senate.
In the end, Paul has made it clear he neither seeks nor desires the "approval" of the Old Republican Guard, as he continued to voice his concerns over a drone program and presidential kill list gone amok.
"They think the whole world is a battlefield, including America, and that the laws of war should apply. The laws of war don't involve due process, so when they ask you for an attorney you tell them to shut up. That's not my understanding of the way America works," he told Fox News.
"I don't think the laws of war apply to America, I think the Bill of Rights do and I think it's a disservice to our soldiers that our senators up there arguing that the Bill of Rights aren't important."
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