Yesterday, Republican Senator Rand Paul took the United States Senate floor and held a nearly 13 hour filibuster (12 hours and 52 minutes to be exact).
While it did not make the top 5 of filibusters, a few news outlets have called it historic. Why? Because, though he was technically filibustering the nomination of Jack Brennan to CIA Director, he was actually protesting an issue that unites both Republicans and Democrats: the use of military predator drones to attack US citizens on US soil.
In several interviews, President Barack Hussein Obama, and a few of his cronies like Attorney General Eric Holder, and nominee Jack Brennan, have gone on record as saying the President does have the authority to use these drones against noncombatant US citizens.
Senator Paul had written a letter to Attorney General Holder asking when and where this could be used. Holder responded that it would be in circumstances like Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 New York City attacks. However, Senator Paul was not satisfied after President Obama gave a less than similar response at an interview hosted by Google. Meanwhile, Holder, while testifying on Capitol Hill, reiterated that the use of predator drones would only be in combatant situations.
Senator Paul took to the filibuster, however, wishing for the President to come out and admit that he does not have the authority to violate the 5th Amendment. He quoted from Lewis Carroll’s Alice and Wonderland, the Constitution, from the Department of Homeland Security’s own memos, among other things.
Already, both the Senate and the House of Representatives are feeling the effects of the dramatic speech. While Jack Brennan’s nomination is suppose to go forward on Thursday, members of the House are looking at reopening bipartisan legislation to reign in government use of the drones. Likewise, there is talk the Senate Intelligence Committee would look at similar legislation.
I was only able to watch 30 minutes of the speech, but it was riveting to see a politician stand up for the people. The use of these drones against US citizens, without due process and such it clearly a violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.