Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spent Wednesday afternoon waging a one-man filibuster against President Obama’s nominee for CIA director, John Brennan. And he’s doing it the old-fashioned Mr. Smith Goes to Washington way: by holding the floor and talking for hours. He’s still going at the time of this writing, coming up on 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” vowed Senator Paul, who was also forced to concede that “I can’t talk forever.” Where’s Hugo Chavez when you really need him? That guy could talk forever.
Paul is particularly concerned about the use of drone strikes to kill terrorists in various hot spots around the world. He wants to make sure the terms “terrorist” and “hot spot” are not re-defined to mean American citizens on U.S. soil, and as the Washington Times reports, he’s not comfortable with the answers he’s been getting:
“I will speak today until the president responds and says, ‘No, we won’t kill Americans in cafes. No, we won’t kill you at home at night,’” Mr. Paul said.
Just hours earlier, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. testified to a Senate committee that he believed it would be illegal for the government to kill an American who did not pose an imminent threat to security.
But he could not rule out the use of drones on American soil altogether, saying only that he doubted it would happen because it’s easier to capture people here.
Oh, well, heck, what’s the big deal then? By the way, isn’t this the same Administration that says capturing illegal aliens is virtually impossible, even though there are millions of them? And cracking down on the widespread defrauding of government programs is a Herculean task? But it’s so easy to capture terrorists on U.S. soil that it’s entirely possible we’ll never have to unleash the killbots on them. You can trust Eric Holder – he’s the guy that never reads his email, and was therefore unaware that his Justice Department was running thousands of guns to Mexican drug lords, many of which have yet to be recovered, because they haven’t turned up at a murder scene yet.
Paul explained his filibuster plans to the Washington Post this morning:
On Wednesday, Paul elaborated on his concerns: “When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding an unequivocal, ‘No.’ The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that. The president says, ‘I haven’t killed anyone yet.’ He goes on to say, ‘And I have no intention of killing Americans. But I might.’ Is that enough? Are we satisfied by that?”
Paul noted that he has voted for Obama’s previous Cabinet nominees, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and suggested his cause was not partisan.
“I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees,” Paul said. “But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution. I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say that he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking a country.”
As the bottom of the 1:00 hour approached, Senator Paul was describing Obama’s drone strikes as an extension of George Bush’s policies. His throat may be sore, but the gloves are definitely off.