#StandWithRand: Rand Paul, Barack Obama, Drones, and Presidential Kill Lists


For almost 13 hours on Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) led a filibuster on the Senate floor that called attention to the Obama administration's refusal to share its case for why the president can target and kill U.S. citizens without oversight. Joined by about a dozen different colleagues throughout the event, Paul hammered home questions surrounding positions advanced by President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Obama's nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan. The entire filibuster is viewable at C-SPAN's website.

Here's a condensed version of the issues under debate, featuring Sen. Paul, President Obama, and actual drone surveillance footage.

Produced by Sharif Matar.

About 2:30 minutes.

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Read Reason's coverage of Rand Paul here. On drones here.

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  1. Rand is such a badass that he can catch that missile with his bare hand.

    1. But Barack Obama knows who JayZ is, so that trumps all.

      1. Who cares if Barack knows who Jay Z is? Rand Paul has banged Beyonce. Fact.

        1. Ron will deliver the baby

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    2. Indeed. But since it's on a collision course with Barry's head, I wish he wouldn't.

      1. "But since it's on a collision course with Barry's head, I wish he wouldn't."
        If it hits his head, no important organs would be harmed.

    3. just as Ruby replied I'm alarmed that anyone can earn $4577 in a few weeks on the computer. have you read this site... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diP-o_JxysA

  2. The biggest surprise for me was Reince Priebus calling for EVERY Republican senator to #StandWithRand. And I haven't heard of him backing off of that either. Which would seem to put Crankypants and Deputy Dawg in somewhat of an odd position. The chairman of the RNC is now at odds with the two most corrupt Republican Senators in America? I love it!


      McCain really does seem like he's ready to Frankenstein out half the time. Personally, I'd love to see it.

      1. I really don't understand why Graham and McCain felt the need to get all pissy about Rand's Filibuster. Paul handed the GOP its first major victory against Obama and his behemoth administration and these two idiots want to cut him off at the knees?

        WTF is wrong with you morons?

        "Is this moron #1? Put moron #2 on the phone."


        1. McCain and Graham are not mere TEAM RED devotees, they're principled statists.

        2. I think it may ahve to do with McCain believing he has some kind of unique moral authority on war that young wippersnappers in a post draft world don;t appreciate...he is a prisoner of war thinking.

          1. Yep, every bit as relevant as Giffords yammering about gun control.

            1. You mean Giffords nodding in agreement when her husband or a media figure puts words in her mouth?

    2. Both Limbaugh AND Hannity singing Paul's praises today and Hannity was blasting McCain and Graham.

      You know they are just hopping on the bandwagon and aren't true believers, but I will not be checking the gift horse's dental work.

    3. Graham doesn't give a shit. He's Mr. Bipartisan these days.

      "I was going to vote against him until the filibuster, so he picked up one vote," Graham said, laughing to reporters in the Capitol.

      "I thought Brennan was arrogant, a bit shifty," he said, but added that he was going to vote for Brennan because the vote had become a "referendum on the drone program."

      "Where were all these people during the Bush administration? I never remember anybody accusing President [George W.] Bush of 'We're going to kill someone in a cafe,'" Graham said. (Paul, of course, was not in office during the Bush administration.)

      Yes, you read that right. Neocon supreme Lindsey Graham using Argumentum Ad Bushum.

        1. And don't read the comments.

          Brody's man servant & SEA vet
          539 Fans
          7 minutes ago ( 3:40 PM)
          Senator Graham, another Republican veteran along with Senator McCain, recognizes and understands the lives that this program has saved, both military and civilian. Thank you.

          While Rand Paul's performance for the Tea Party vote may have won him support from those who doubt our military's loyalty to America, he tarnishes the record of service of our military veterans.

          Of course, the majority of his followers would rather carry AR-15s in Kentucky rather than Afghanistan or Germany or Japan or Korea or Viet Nam or Iraq.

          Isn't that right Senator McConnell?

          1. Dear god, that's some of the most pro-military talk I've seen in a long time.

          2. Are there really that many people who would rather carry an AR-15 in Afghanistan than Kentucky?

            So at least that part was accurate.

            1. If I'm in Afganistan, I sure as fuck better hav an M4.

            2. Somebody apparently forgot to tell him that WW2 is over, not that they carried AR-15s in Germany and Japan anyway.

          3. But, hey we at least go Awlaki:


            Although you wouldn't know it from the shock and outrage expressed over the last few days, that Barack Obama claims the power to order US citizens assassinated without charges has been known for three full years. It was first reported more or less in passing in January, 2010 by the Washington Post's Dana Priest, and then confirmed and elaborated on by both the New York Times and the Washington Post in April, 2010. Obama first tried to kill US citizen Anwar Awlaki in December 2009 (apparently before these justifying legal memoranda were concocted) using cruise missiles and cluster bombs; they missed Awlaki but killed 52 people, more than half of whom were women and children. Obama finally succeeded in killing Awlaki and another American, Samir Khan, in October 2011, and then killed his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman in a drone strike two weeks later.

            What a sick fuck.

            1. That is sickening. I knew we had tried by failed to kill him before, but I didn't realize that many people died. Was it really so impossible to capture and try him Obama you murderous little fuck?

          4. "While Rand Paul's performance for the Tea Party vote may have won him support from those who doubt our military's loyalty to America, he tarnishes the record of service of our military veterans."

          5. GEEEZUSS man I never should have read the comments, like you said. Stupid.

        2. Wow, and the HuffPo comments are out in full support of Graham.

          I guess they are principled in their boot licking of the president. Now Bipartisan!

        3. Those 'people' are horrible.

          Sioux, French, German, Jew, American mutt
          1137 Fans
          1 hour ago ( 5:16 PM)
          Really? First off, I've seen very few conservatives who listen to anything other than their own voices. Facts mean nothing, history means nothing, reality means nothing and science means nothing - they have a belief, an ideology, and no stinking facts or reality is going to change the way they think. Personally, I hate very few people. I hate the actions of those that lie us into wars, that violate our long held treaties and morals by engaging in torture and repeal of habeus corpus, that hold steadfast to their failures as badges of honor and blame everyone but themselves for an economy in peril that they drove into that position.

          So, Brennen who was neck deep in what you are complaining about, was nominated by whom exactly?

  3. At least on this, I do not #StandWithRand.

    The fixation on drones is irrational and distracts from real questions. How the US government kills someone is irrelevant. The question to ask is why the US government kills someone. Why would it be OK for the government to kill a US citizen on US soil with guns, but not with a drone? Depending on the circumstances, the drone might be the right choice.

    As for citizens abroad like Awlaki, due process simply does not apply. As Senator Paul emphasizes in the video, the 5th amendment guarantees due process to *all persons*. Citizenship is irrelevant and courts have never held that US citizens are any more entitled to due process than non-citizens, even illegal aliens.

    All this applies in the US and it applies where the US has jurisdiction, such as at Guantanamo Bay. Does it apply in Yemen, in an area not under US control, i.e. in a war zone? Obviously not. If it did, then the guarantee of due process would apply equally to Osama Bin Laden and even to uniformed soldiers on the battlefield. Attmepting to apply due process guarantees outside the US in areas not subject to its jurisdiction leads inexorably to such absurd conclusions.

    And Yemen, where Awlaki was hit, was definitely a war zone. Why was he a legitimate target? Because under to 2001 Authorization for
    Use of Military Force (http://goo.gl/FwwkR) the President may use the armed forces against al Qaeda.

    1. All areas not under US control are war zones?

      1. All areas with al Qaeda are as far as the AUMF foes. The AUMF doesn't specify boundaries, although US territory are precluded under other laws and most other countries (England for example) are certainly precluded under treaties we have with them. And in Yemen there's reason enough to believe that we were operating with the cooperation of the government.

        1. AUMF is not a declaration of war.

          1. Yes it is. Going back to the Washington administration Congress has authorized the use of military force without declaring war. It's happened dozens of times

            1. That doesn't mean it's the same thing.

        2. Yemen is a war zone? I wonder if they know that. The citizens who elected the government there I mean. Oh wait...

      2. "your either for us or against us"

        And of course the whole "global terrorism" thing that convienietly makes the whole world a "war zone"
        I am shortly expecting the first terrorist threat from...the solar system. Soon after the universe, and than the multiverse. Those meteorites are all Al Quieda funded....

    2. No, the question to ask is why government agents feel they can justifiably murder its own citizens with impunity, based on nebulous definitions.

      This is what results in incidents like two asian women delivering newspapers getting their truck plugged by trigger-happy cops in L.A., and Holder saying that they can use drones for the same purpose.

      Whether it's as a last resort or not is completely beside the point, because they shouldn't be contemplating it at all. A government that feels it has to hedge for these kinds of extreme measures is a government that is completely terrified of its own citizens.

    3. Everyone is afforded due process until war is declared upon them. That's why the declaration of war is so important.

      AUMF DOES NOT give carte blanceh.

      Specifically states those responsible for 9/11.

      "That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

      Emphasis mine.

      1. War isn't declared upon people, it's declared on nations. and the AUMF is NOT a declaration of war anyway.

        1. War isn't declared upon people, it's declared on nations.

          Bullshit. Please cite chapter and verse of the Constitution that supports that.

          1. Did we not declare war on obesity? The United States Government can declare war on a concept.

            Put that in your pipe and smoke it... I mean, that is if we didn't have a War on Tobacco.

        2. Military force can be authorized without a declaration of war. It's happened a lot going back to the earliest days under the constitution. This document discusses some of the major cases: http://goo.gl/fB6Ax

          1. It can, but it may not.

          2. Military force can be authorized without a declaration of war.

            Which means that an AUMF is NOT a declaration of war, dumbass.

      2. I hadn't even thought about this but Awlaki's son was what, in kindergarten on September 11? He must have been a child prodigy or something.

    4. Except that it DOES apply to United States' citizens, no matter where they are. If a U.S. citizen is an eminent threat then killing him is fine, which is why our soldiers can kill a U.S. citizen who is shooting at them.

      Awlaki was not an eminent threat based on anything I've seen. Not only that, but we managed to send in a Navy Seal team to get Bin Laden. We didn't use a drone. Why couldn't we have sent in a team and attempted to get Awlaki in order to bring him back to stand trial?

      1. and the CIA just captured Bin Laden's son in law...why didn't they just drone him? Oh, because he was in Jordan. Got it.

      2. No, it does not apply to US citizens any more than it does to non-citizens. Why do you think it does?

        1. It applies to U.S. citizens in that the United States government can't do anything to you outside the borders that it couldn't do to you within the borders. Obviously you're subject to the laws of whatever country you're in, but the U.S. government cannot assassinate an American citizen without due process, no matter where they are.

          Are you seriously arguing that if the American government killed a U.S. citizen with no due process outside of the borders of this country, that would be legal?

          1. I think his point is that citizenship is irrelevant, which is correct. The BOR does not only apply to US citizens

            1. No, his point was that the BOR applies to no one outside of the U.S. borders.

              As for citizens abroad like Awlaki, due process simply does not apply.

              He's arguing that anyone abroad is no longer protected from the United States' government. So the instant I get 15 miles out to see, the United States government can kill me and has done nothing unconstitutional. Using this argument, the U.S. should even be allowed to assassinate criminals abroad, rather than extraditing them. I mean, if the BOR doesn't apply to them abroad, what's stopping the government from doing so?

              1. "Out to sea." Jesus, that was an embarrassing typo.

              2. Explain something to me: Why was Osama Bin Laden not entitled to due process? I don't know, perhaps you think he was. How about armed German soldiers in Germany during World War II?

                1. "Why was Osama Bin Laden not entitled to due process?"

                  I think he was, as long as he was in a location where capture was feasible (e.g. not on a battlefield). Given that he was in an armored, guarded compound, I don't know how feasible capture would have been.

                  "How about armed German soldiers in Germany during World War II?"

                  They were uniformed soldiers of an army of a nation-state that we were in a declared war with, in a war zone. There's a bit of a difference between that and al-Alwaki, who was an iman accused of being a member of a terrorist organization, which by its very nature is pretty ill-defined, living in a house somewhere in Yemen. The administration has not given an explanation as to why capturing and trying him was unfeasible

                  1. The question of whether capture is feasible is interesting. I suggest it may have relevance to the laws of war, but none to the Constitution. And I maintain that the AUMF is the equivalent of a declaration of war. In WWII the US killed probably millions of civilians without due process.

                    1. "The question of whether capture is feasible is interesting. I suggest it may have relevance to the laws of war, but none to the Constitution."

                      Says who? The declaration of war clause is not a ticket to eliminate due process as long as Congress "declares war" on a vaguely defined group and gives the president the power to decide who is a member of that group and kill them regardless of whether they are an imminent threat to civilians or soldiers or the feasibility of capture

                2. This is getting really stupid.

                  1. Osama Bin Laden would have been entitled IF CAPTURE WAS FEASIBLE. Just like a normal criminal. If criminals start shooting at the police, and the police kill them, the police have done nothing wrong. If police kill them just because it's easier than bringing them in, that would be illegal.

                  2. Armed German soldiers were shooting at American soldiers. Our soldiers shot back. That is war. However, if a German soldier surrendered, should we have been allowed to shoot him? He wasn't within U.S. borders!

                  Both examples are completely different than what you're suggesting, namely that Americans have no protection from their own government once they leave our boundaries.

                3. I don't know, perhaps you think he was. How about armed German soldiers in Germany during World War II?

                  Quite a few "armed German soldiers" were sent to prisoner of war camps in this very country, not gunned down arbitrarily on the orders of FDR or Truman.

                  Jesus, you're one bloodthirsty guy.

                  1. Technically the taking of POWs is not a constitutional thing, it's an international law thing. I would agree with some of the bloodthirsties that in the context of an active battle there are zero due process rights for the enemy, but the question is how far you can stretch the definition of "battlefield".

    5. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it takes a lot more in the brass balls department to send flesh and blood troops to go shoot a citizen on American soil (or anywhere else for that matter) as opposed to murderdroning them.

    6. A declaration of war must comply with the Constitution. If a DOW gives the president the power to kill people with no due process, as long as he deems them a member of a vaguely-defined organization, even if they aren't in an actual war zone or on a battlefield, and capture is feasible, then it is unconstitutional

    7. And Rand has not made this all about drones. He's been clear that it's about the larger issue

    8. The question to ask is why the US government kills someone. Why would it be OK for the government to kill a US citizen on US soil with guns, but not with a drone?

      Um, you think Rand would be okay with the government sniping a guy sitting in Starbucks sipping a latte? Did you even listen to a word he said? It wasn't about drones.

  4. This civil liberties canard again? I smell the Kochs...

    1. Civil liberties is a right-wing corporate conspiracy.

  5. It was mildly amusing, the lefties were tripping all over themselves last night.

    "I can't support a violent racist just because he does one good thing. Besides the President hasn't killed any Americans with drones so this is just conspiracy theories, and Obama wouldn't do it anyway. This is like asking if he'd rape someone. Just beyond the pale for a Senator to pull something like this and abuse the institution."

    1. "Anybody notice it's always the racists doing filibusters?"

      Especially against things a black man wants!

      1. Like Bernie Sanders?

        1. You know who else was a socialist.

    2. The new line is that Rand Paul is worried about drones killing people in the US but supports military rifles that kill people in the US.

      1. Yeah, slight difference between some crazy or a gang member killing someone and the U.S. government using its monopoly on power to destroy American citizens.

      2. Yeah, saw a bit of that. "He supports the NRA. They kill far more innocents worldwide than drones."

        Mostly it was just "RAND PAUL OPPOSES THE ENTIRE CRA"
        *someone posts showing he supports 9/10 of the titles*
        "I think scaling back the institutional racism within the government, especially the courts, was more important."

        1. I like that they blame the NRA for dead people, even though the NRA has never killed anyone.

          Notice that they don't blame the War on Drugs, since that would mean they have to acknowledge the idiocy of the U.S. Government, and they don't blame gangs, since the most dangerous gangs are primarily African American or Hispanic and progressives are obsessed with identity politics.

          1. Kings of non sequitur they are.

          2. The NRA also (that I've seen) hasn't suggested that all of the gun killers shouldn't be punished, which seems like a pretty major difference.

        2. I heard he supports 2 month old minority blind orphans being crushed in high heel porn videos...

    3. Fucking maddening...

      I had a conversation with a family member and their friend right after the presidential inauguration about the drone issue. I mentioned that the real issue wasn't the use of drones (as they seemed to think) but they fact that the POTUS had claimed authority to execute American citizens without a trial. They were shocked that not only had Obama declared his authority to assassinate Americans, he had actually done so at least twice on in two separate instances.

      I find it mind boggling that this hasn't been more wildly reported...Obama's actions are grounds for life-in-prison, let alone impeachment.

      1. Yeah, but those were al Qaeda "military age members" and it's insane to not expect the President to defend the country during an emergency. Especially in a warzone.

        He'd never do it here!

        I've gotten some good traction out of "but when Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum become President do you trust them not to?"

        1. *"military age males"

      2. I find it mind boggling that this hasn't been more wildly reported...Obama's actions are grounds for life-in-prison, let alone impeachment.

        It's a non issue, tea-fucker. Go back to your Birch Society Limbaugh circle-jerk. The S&P is up 90% because of Capitalists like Obama.

        Due process, petition your representative, get on board with Democracy for the big win! JERBS!

        Why do you want to kill children with Patrol Assault Rifles?

        1. That first line was a great shrike impression.

      3. Even the ones that have come around on the issue have mostly told me "well, we didn't think it was actually really happening before because "the right" and Fox news always lies!"

        I've pointed out that Kucinich and Conyers weren't exactly right-wing guys and they wrote a letter to Obama about this very issue way back in May of last year. Of course they then mostly get huffy and change the subject, rather than admit that they maybe aren't as informed as they think they are.

      4. I agree.
        I read this and it helps to make everyting clear:
        G?ring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
        Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States ONLY Congress can declare wars.
        G?ring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

        "only congress is a bit out of date. Oh yeah, using the word "war" but the actual killing - the president can do that whenever he watns...

    4. Here's how your favorite D and R statists voted -- hahahahaha:


      1. I'm so glad Sen Boxer made her position clear. "Not Voting".

  6. The best thing that can come out of this, really, would be a realignment of parties into statists and libertarians. I know, I know, but a guy can dream, right?

    1. No I think that's where this is all heading. Eventually.

      Reince Priebus gets it, but not Cranky and the Dawg.

    2. The best thing that can come out of this, really, would be a realignment of parties into statists and libertarians

      Already done.

      Over there, you have some ~359 million statists, over here, you've got 22 libertarians. And we vote. Sometimes.

      1. Hey, in SF, 4, maybe 5.

  7. I'll bet Big Sis and Barry are upset that they can't drone-strike Tea Party rallies... and Repubs are upset they can't drone-strike Occutard love-ins.

    1. My thoughts exactly, Senor Fify.

  8. A crappy athlete. Remember his first-pitch at the all-star game? He sucks at bowling and I've heard he's a terrible basketball player. He wears "mom jeans", but he can sing, sort of. Put all of those together and you get a nerd. The appropriate actor to portray him in a movie would be Erkel, not Denzel.

    1. I'd go with Don Cheadle in whiteface.

    2. Stupid to remember this but when they asked Pres Clinton to throw the first pitch, he threw Hillary out of the bleachers. They asked him why, he said I thought you said throw the First Bitch......

  9. This was just an awesome day for me. I watched last night and loved every minute of it. The young bucks of the GOP showed their love for hip hop music and it was just the tip of the iceberg. Rand Paul even got invited onto Rush Limbaugh. A step unthinkable just 2 years ago and every minute he was on there was worth an ounce of gold. And he discussed the drone issue in a way that has made the libertarian wing of the Republican Party acceptable and mainstream. Rand might actually have a huge boost in the presidential primary. And after keeping somewhat silent and coy about criticizing the old guard of the GOP by name, Limbaugh went off on McCain and the rest of those fools who keep losing election after election. I really hope this lasts, and works out to the rebirth of a principled GOP.

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  11. Rand is good for the Libertarian movement, I was enthralled with his libertarian primer he wove into the filibuster. I was pleased to see the wide, if mostly distorted coverage. I relayed my enthusiasm to my wife, my dream we may get Rand slugging it out with his libertarian message come 2016. However, my wife says he needs a make over, better hair for starters. I really don't know what to even reply. I'm stupefied. Ummm...

  12. I was just reading some comments on an article about Paul at the Huffington Post and found this gem.
    In trying times, don't quit trying.
    446 Fans
    1 hour ago (10:34 PM)
    I said this a few days ago ... but this would make your average Bagger's head explode ...

    Imagine Hillary getting the nomination ... and making Obama her VP.

    See, they don't want to get rid of the 22nd amendment, they want to pull a Putin.

  13. It is sickening how some people support drone strikes now because the person who speaks against them has (R) next to his name. Partisan politics over standing up for human rights. No wonder the current government is just a reflection of that mentality.

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