Thursday, March 07, 2013

Rand Paul Filibuster Aftermath - John McCain and the Wall Street Journal

The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.
-- John McCain quotes the Wall Street Journal from a WSJ editorial

Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain took to the Senate floor Thursday to excoriate Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster of CIA director nominee John Brennan over the issue of whether the president has the authority to use a drone strike to kill an American on U.S. soil.... I don’t think that what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people McCain said after reading the editorial.
“We need a discussion, as I said, about exactly how we are going to address this new form of almost interminable warfare, which is very different from anything we ever faced in the past. But somehow to allege the United States of America, our government, would drop a drone hellfire missile on Jane Fonda, that brings the conversation from a serious discussion about U.S. policy to the realm of the ridiculous.”
Paul’s filibuster Wednesday lasted nearly 13 hours, concluding just after midnight this morning.

The Business Insider quotes the Wall Street Journal.
From the Journal:
Calm down, Senator. Mr. Holder is right, even if he doesn't explain the law very well. The U.S. government cannot randomly target American citizens on U.S. soil or anywhere else. What it can do under the laws of war is target an "enemy combatant" anywhere at anytime, including on U.S. soil. This includes a U.S. citizen who is also an enemy combatant. The President can designate such a combatant if he belongs to an entity—a government, say, or a terrorist network like al Qaeda—that has taken up arms against the United States as part of an internationally recognized armed conflict. [...]
Such a conflict exists between the U.S. and al Qaeda, so Mr. Holder is right that the U.S. could have targeted (say) U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki had he continued to live in Virginia. The U.S. killed him in Yemen before he could kill more Americans. But under the law Awlaki was no different than the Nazis who came ashore on Long Island in World War II, were captured and executed.

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