Rand Paul

Baffling Washington Post Editorial: Rand Paul Was Wrong. And We Need More Drone Transparency!

Why do they think the senator is worried about domestic drone strikes?


"Missed the point by this much"
CSpan 2

To put it bluntly, this Washington Post editorial criticizing Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster reads as though nobody on their board actually listened to any of it and decided to critique it based on summaries:

After Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held the Senate hostage Wednesday in order to warn that American citizens could be targeted by drone strikes on U.S. soil, he was rightly taken to task for gross and irresponsible mischaracterizations of the Obama administration's policy. We've got another complaint: Mr. Paul and his followers are distracting attention from the real issues raised by the administration's secret warfare.

The editorial board characterizes Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz essentially as conspiracy theorists for believing the Obama Administration could rain down Hellfire missiles from drones on people in cafes and not letting Attorney General Eric Holder's vague letter settle the matter.

Then the editorial pivots to what their board thinks is the real issue. Except it doesn't actually pivot at all:

But enough about Mr. Paul: The fact that his paranoid fantasies gained some traction is testimony to the administration's real failures in managing its counterterrorism campaigns. Mr. Obama has chosen to carry out hundreds of drone strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, including one against a U.S. citizen, without any public accounting. Justice Department memos authorizing the attacks have not been disclosed; only this week were senators on the intelligence committee allowed to read them. The White House has devised a process for adding names to a target list for drone strikes but has never revealed even its outlines. Instead, it insists on its righteousness and invites Americans to trust that its decisions are justified.

That is not how a democracy should operate.

Hey, Washington Post editorial board, why do you think Sen. Paul doesn't trust the administration's vague letters about its "intent" for domestic drone strikes on Americans?

After criticizing Paul for filibustering the administration's lack of transparency for domestic drone use (and not even believing there's a lack of transparency), the writer is upset that Paul's filibuster didn't draw attention to the administration's lack of transparency for foreign drone use.

Paul did actually talk quite a bit about the administration's foreign drone use in his 13-hour filibuster and specifically how the administration's lack of transparency and method for engaging in strikes had informed his concerns about their use on American soil. Paul brought it up during the very first hour, and he repeated these comments probably four or five times at least. You didn't have to watch the entire filibuster to grasp Paul's argument, so the Washington Post really has no excuse for missing his point:

There was a man named al-Awlaki. He was a bad guy, by all evidence available to the public that I've read, he was treasonous. I have no sympathy for his death. I still would have tried him in a federal court for treason and I think you could have been executed. But his son was 16 years old, had missed his dad, gone for two years. His son sneaks out of the house and goes to Yemen. His son is then killed by a drone strike. They won't tell us if he was targeted. Suspect, since there were other people in the group, about 20 people killed, that they were targeting someone else. I don't know that. I don't have inside information on that. But I suspect that.

The reason Paul, Cruz and others worry about the Obama Administration possibly using drones to kill Americans on American soil in non-combat situations is precisely because this is how the administration is using drones in foreign countries.  A significant component of his filibuster was demanding that the Obama Administration not use the same system for targeting Americans that they are using overseas. The Washington Post editorial board and Paul are actually on the same side. How can they not grasp why Paul went through all this trouble?

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  1. They really hate that a GOP tea party senator got ahead of them on something.

    1. No they don’t, because they don’t want to be “ahead” on anything. If anything, they just want to be sure they maintain a privileged access to the WH that they and the NYT currently enjoy so they can be the good little mouthpiece of the administration they want to be.

      They were the same when it came to GWB’s foreign policy until the last couple years of his Presidency as well.

      Sycophants gonna sycoph.

      1. How dare you, sir! They broke Watergate, they are true and noble and sweetness and light!

        1. And what recently happened to the guy who broke watergate?

          1. Talk about paranoid fantasies. White House intimidation? What happened to that heroic man?

        2. In the eyes of the modersn WaPo editorial board, Watergate was simply a third-rate burglary, and only paranoid conspiracy theorists could have claimed otherwise.

          Of course, the administration should have a more open process for burglarizing Democratic headquarters, including getting authorization from a secret court. But all this conspiracy theorizing about the Nixon administration merely distracts attention from the need for oversight in this area.

          1. Nice, very nice.

            1. Except that it turns out Watergate was basically spoonfed to a couple of rookie reporters by a guy was pissed off he didn’t get made director of the FBI.

              1. Yes, Felt was the unacknowledged guy who brought down Nixon, and the WaPo was simply the channel for his campaign. But Nixon was still a crook.

                1. But he says he “is not a crook!!” so eloquently, with jowls shaking in approval.

                  1. Richard Nixon’s Head: I remember my body. Flabby, pasty-skinned, riddled with phlebitis. A good Republican body. God, how I loved it.
                    Fry: I hear that. I spent most of my teen years loving my body. Course it was tough love, but…
                    Turanga Leela: [Elbows Fry] Fry, he opened up relations with China. He doesn’t want to hear about your ding-dong.

  2. OT :

    So this article shows two things: how blindly and uncritically people accept feminist propaganda, and how pathetic Canadians are about comparing themselves to the US. Just count how many times in the article they do it.


    1. Not touching with 10 foot meter pole

    2. how pathetic Canadians are about comparing themselves to the US

      While normally I loathe this about my countrymen, I’m not seeing it in this article you linked. I see a lot of comparisons of Canada to the #1 country in category X, which I would kind of expect in an article about country rankings.

      Some pretty silly stuff in there, though:

      Country with most women in the work force

      Burundi. According the World Economic Forum, 92 per cent of female citizens in Burundi have paid work

      Hooray for back-breaking manual farm labour?

      1. Burundi? That sound like a made up country.

        1. What are you talking about? It shares a border with Kyrzakhstan and Ruritania.

      2. Wouldn’t the Vatican have the highest % of women in the workforce? Technically, it is infinity because they do have female employees but zero permanent residents.

        The more you know…

    3. Germany. German mothers get 14 weeks off at 100 per cent of their wages. They collect a parental allowance of 67 per cent of their wages for 14 months, and both parents have the option of three years of parental leave in total. (In Canada, parents may take 52 weeks of maternity leave in total, receiving the equivalent of EI for that period.)

      You gotta be fucking shitting me?!

      1. You’ve gotta keep in mind that these are the same studies that will seriously list third world countries as having higher quality of life measures than their industrialized counterparts.

    4. Country with the most female Nobel laureates

      The United States. In related news, the U.S. can also claim to the most Miss Universe titles. Guess which achievement gets the most attention? (Also, all of Canada’s 21 Nobel prize winners have been men.)

      Gets the most attention by whom? The fact that the US “beats” Canada in this actually proves how shallow the US really is.

  3. How can they not grasp why Paul went through all this trouble?

    They market their paper to stupid people. People will gloss over the bashing of Rand Paul, because it’s what they expect to see, then move on to the rest of the complaints about transparency. They will then attribute those complaints to the Post, not to Paul. This way the Post has Paul make their point, get bashed, and then have his point stolen.

    1. That is quite depressing, Sparky…and 100% accurate. Maybe that is why it is so depressing.

    2. How many of those stupid people pay for their WaPo subscription with their government wages?

  4. this Washington Post editorial criticizing Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster reads as though nobody on their board actually listened to any of it and decided to critique it based on summaries

    I will bet you your entire year’s salary, Scott, that that is exactly what they did. Because 1) most modern journalists are the laziest, most uneducated idiotic partisan scum you can imagine, and 2) your salary is probably so low I can absorb a loss by giving you my grocery bill money.

    1. Why don’t you give Scott break, asshole? And yes, you probably can pay the debt off with your grocery money…because the welfare card Washington gives you is the only transferable income you have.*

      *Sorry, but you can’t sell him the bridge you and your mom live under. That belongs to the people.

      1. Epi and his mom live under the shadow of Warty’s balls. If you kids are calling that a “bridge” these days, I’m not going to judge.

        1. Epi and his mom live under the shadow of Warty’s balls.

          Really? I thought they just summered there.

          1. I don’t live with my mom, asshole! I live with yours, remember?

            1. That’s not true. That’s impossible!

            2. So what I’m getting from this is that Epi and sloopy are brothers(sisters?) and their mom loves Warty’s balls. That about right?

              1. By Jove, you’ve got it!

              2. darius, there were charts and graphs and such outlining the whole relationship, but Warty’s ball sweat made them unreadable.

                1. It doesn’t count if there isn’t a power point presentation.

              3. He’s the Hugo to my Bart.

    2. But I get all the monocles and top hats I can carry.

      1. Don’t humor him, Scott. Don’t give him the satisfaction.

        1. Too late!

      2. Hmm, that might sound enticing if you got all of the monocoles and top hats you and the urchins you pay by the ha’penny can carry.

        1. Ha. Ha. Ha. You dumb bastard. You don’t pay your urchins. You feed them the urchins that worked for you last week.

          1. I hadn’t considered that as a viable option. Weekly turnover seems like it would be taxing with all the OSHA explaining and sexual harassment seminars.

        2. What kind of libertarian pays his unskilled laborers?

          1. Are we not noticing that we’re talking about paying them in a deprecated currency that amounts to play money? What do you take me for a liberal?

            1. Touche

  5. Be wise the post is full of partisan hacks who would completely dismiss a republican tea bagger on principle, then try and claim credit from him.

    1. Why are you using the term “tea bagger”? Was it meant to be ironic?

      1. Likely he was channeling a WaPo reporter.

      2. Yes Rog. It was irony. Welcome to H&R comments section.

        1. Yeah, Roger. Now get back to arranging, designing and selling shrubberies.

          1. This is why there are no libertarian…

            Never mind.

        2. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

          1. Is it like rain on your wedding day ironic or meeting the Warty man of your dreams and then his beautiful Epi wife ironic?

  6. “How can they not grasp why Paul went through all this trouble?”

    I’m sure they know exactly why; they just don’t care. The truth doesn’t fit the narrative, so they’re going to twist facts as much as possible so that it fits the narrative they want to display to the world.

  7. this makes no damn sense. Is the Post mad that Paul asked questions that it and other media should have asked? Or is it mad that he showed up the Obama administration, again usurping a role that even WaPo admits it failed to uphold:

    The White House has devised a process for adding names to a target list for drone strikes but has never revealed even its outlines. Instead, it insists on its righteousness and invites Americans to trust that its decisions are justified.

    Or is it that WaPo can’t stand that Paul has the same attitude toward this policy that it does, thus violating all expectations?

    1. Bbbbuuuut…

      “Benjamin T. Grimes ?@DontAskJeeves
      The Violence Against Women Act was signed yesterday. The one that #StandWithRand fellow voted against? So, you know… not really a hero.”

      1. becuase everyone knows that raising questions about this measure means you support violence against the wimminz.

        Kinda goes right along with teh supposition that WaPo editorializes based on summaries; its readers don’t go beyond headlines. Doubtful that Benjamin could name one thing VAWA does.

        1. “Doubtful that Benjamin could name one thing VAWA does.”

          It protects women from violence and who could be against that? Why do you hate women?

          /Benjamin T. Grimes

        2. It stops violence against women! It’s right there in the title.

          1. And nothing else happened!

          2. Ah, I see. I had assumed that the Violence Against Women Act permitted violence against women.

            Maybe they should have named it the Stop The Females Unfairly Being Illegaly, Tortfully, Criminally Harmed act.

            1. Al Bundy would support that act.

              1. Al Bundy would support that act.

                Ted Bundy…not so much.

            2. This. It’s like I used to have a clinic that employed a “substance abuse advocate”. I kind of thought that would be a fun job.

            3. What you did there, I see it.

          3. How do you know it doesn’t promote violence against women? It’s not called the “Stop violence against women act”.

        3. I tell supporters of VAWA that either women are strong, independent, and the equals of men, or they need VAWA to pass.

      2. So violence against women is now legalized? Sweet!

        Hey, Banjos! Fix me a sammich or face the wrath.

        1. Awesome! Let us know how that sammich enema turns out.

          1. It did not turn out as well as I had hoped.

        2. Please tell me that after she makes that sammich you’re gonna slap the mascara off her face with it.

          1. And get mascara on his sandwich? What kind of monster are you?

        3. I see you know how to treat a woman, sloopy.

          1. I’m dumber for having watched that. Like Epi-level stoopid now.

      3. You know, I could have sworn that violence against women was already illegal. Live and learn.

    2. I listened to about 90% of the filibuster. At one point, Rand Paul did call out journalists and the media. He essentially asked why journalists, and the media weren’t asking the exact same questions Rand was posing to the President, Holder, and Brennan.

      The WaPo is just buttsore for being called out.

      1. I watched or listened to most of it as well. And Rand took great pains to call them out for not questioning Bush either. It truly was an equal opportunity takedown on the entire warmongering apparatus, including both parties and the compliant media. A masterpiece.

        1. seems more and more than it’s the notion of someone taking a principled rather than partisan stand. It’s such a shock to the system that WaPo is stupefied. Of course, including the media guarantees some sort of backlash from it.

          1. Of course, including the media guarantees some sort of backlash from it.

            I kind of have to wonder if Rand included the media criticism specifically to provoke a backlah.

            “Go ahead, prove to everyone what a bunch of mendacious power fellating cunts and worthless hack scum you really are. Bring it, BRING IT!”

            1. That would be a brilliant move. Judging from the comments on all but the most die-hard (read: braindead) progressive websites, people are seeing the media do just that.

      2. Now they are trying to sell the narrative they are the responsible adults in the room and Paul is a lunatic for going through with a filibuster on something as trivial as the constitutionality of domestic assassination (that for some reason the administration refused to give a straight answer on for over a month).

  8. they’re pissed because Paul actually embarrassed the press more than democrats by doing their job for them.

    1. But … but … the job of the press is to be good little lapdogs of those in power.

  9. Rand Paul? That teabagging, libertarian douchbag of a republican? Hes bad, he cant possibly have a good point. Everything he says is shit.

    Here, let us tell you what the real issue is……..


  10. It’s The Washington Post. Anything resembling intellectual honesty has been beside the point for ages.

  11. Jesus H. Motherfucking Antichrist that’s a bag full of teh stoopid right there.

    I applaud WaPo for proving – once again – that there is no such thin as “Peak Stupid”.

    Dumbasses gonna dumb…

    1. Peak Derp is like one of those desert mirages…always almost within our grasp, but never seized.

  12. How can they not grasp why Paul went through all this trouble?

    Because he has an “R” after his name and the president he was critisizing has a “D” after his. Simple as that, partisan shills are gonna shill.

  13. You didn’t have to watch the entire filibuster to grasp Paul’s argument, so the Washington Post really has no excuse for missing his point

    Come now, it isn’t the job of a major media outlet to actually understand and/or make a reasonable effort to portray the story accurately. Is it?

  14. It makes total, perfect sense.

    God help me, I read the Washington Post every day, because the other “local” paper is nicknamed “The Crabwrapper” because it’s mostly useful for putting underneath a bushel of steamed crabs. The Post serves two masters (well, maybe 1.5): the Progressives, and the establishment Left, the latter of whom are a huge portion of the DC metro.

    The WaPo eds do this all the time. It’s usually one of three things: they’ll praise a liberal or moderate Republican to show how post-partisan and unbiased they are; they’ll promote the latest Progressive talking point, except they’ll take the more “moderate” stance; or they’ll attack a libertarian, Libertarian, or a Republican.

    In this case, they attacked Rand Paul because he’s a “radical” Republican, which gives them points with the big government establishment Democrats, AND they promoted civil liberties WHILE sort of backhandedly poking the military/intelligence establishment, giving them street cred with the Progressives. Never mind that Paul isn’t all that “radical”, or that he’s probably got more in common with the old-school Dems than with the establishment Republicans. None of that matters since the WaPo can assume with unshakable confidence that its readership will scan as far as the first (R) and stop reading.

    1. Well that was depressing.

    2. God help me, I read the Washington Post every day, because the other “local” paper is nicknamed “The Crabwrapper” because it’s mostly useful for putting underneath a bushel of steamed crabs.

      Mmmmmmm. Chesapeake Blue Crabs. [Insert Homer drool noise here]

  15. I actually think the WaPo editorial has a point in terms of the need for greater oversight of the foreign drone use. Currently, the president has the ability to kill any particular person he chooses of the some 5.5 billion human beings that are not US citizens without any checks from the legislature or the judiciary. The war powers granted to the executive to this date are far too broad and congress has merely divested from its role in the process.

    That said, not only is there nothing wrong with any of what Rand said and his concerns are attempts to see forward into what the potential consequences of the executive’s claim, but Rand is playing the long game politically here. He’s attempting to guide a party that recently embraced the national security state and broad executive war powers to being something more skeptical of executive military power. He has to focus on the most egregious implications of that and then work his way back. Start by getting hard legislative language that prevents weaponized domestic drones, work towards to legislation that prevents domestic surveillance drones (without warrant if the concession must be made). All the while, focus on getting some independent oversight of any foreign drone usage.

    1. Well I’m convinced. Sudden wants the terrorists to win.

      1. Yes, I do. In part because the Justice Department did issue a memo in 2009 stating that those of us who rock Gadsden flags, embrace a radically minimal view of govt, and support unfettered civil liberty even if the others around you don’t like your choices are potentially domestic terrorists. It is certainly not a stretch that if the precedent gets set that we can murderdrone a radical islamist citizen on US soil, it’s not inconceivable that the govt may choose to label me a domestic threat and murderdrone me.

        1. I was just being sarcastic. You know I share that sentiment 100%.

          1. Don’t stop him now, he’s on a roll.

            1. Was it over when the Germans used a drone to bomb Pearl Harbor?

  16. hey it’s hard work licking so much boot. Give ’em a break.

  17. The Washington Post is the same paper which, during the Post WWI Red Scare, said “There is no time to waste on hairsplitting over [the] infringement of liberty”.


    1. The Washington Post always has and always will be the paper I loathe the most. They care not a whit for accountability and value access over openness. They can collectively suck on my balls.

    2. Natural Born Grovelers.

  18. Washington Post news story from May 7, 1919:

    “Sailor Wounds Pageant Spectator Disrespectful to Flag.

    “Chicago, May 6?Disrespect for the American flag and a show of resentment toward the thousands who participated in a victory loan pageant here tonight may cost George Goddard his life. He was shot down by a sailor of the United States navy when he did not stand and remove his hat while the band was playing the “Star-Spangled Banner.””


    Yeah, but there’s no historical reason to worry about an opene-ended Presidential power to assassinate citizens.

    1. Oh, I’m sure he brandished a weapon before the sailor gunned him down.

      1. It says he had a weapon, and was in the IWW, but that only came up after the sailor confronted him.

        1. They say he brandished his weapon, then started to walk away as the sailor fired off a warning shot.

          When I rise to power, I’m exhuming Palmer’s corpse and after we execute it, we’ll try it for treason.

  19. Korematsu was an instruction manual to these assholes. It’ll either be “off to the camps” or get a Hellfire missile shoved up your poopchute by a Predator drone.

  20. Expected from the lewinskies at the post. But how about that cringe-worthy dribble of an editorial on Paul at the (increasingly irrelevant) NRO? It took a day, but the power-worshiping lap dogs got their yaps synchronized.

  21. The Washington Post is just living out their old ad campaign:

    If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

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