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Sen. Graham You're Droning On and On...Rand Paul Was Right

Senator Rand Paul's courage under fire, even from moderates in our own party, sets the example for how to reclaim constitutional government, in stark contrast to Lindsey Graham.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Or so that's what our founders once declared.

With that responsibility, the Federal government has a duty to protect its citizens, providing certain unalienable rights.

So, it's no surprise then that Republicans and Democrats alike joined with Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Wednesday supporting his filibuster to protest John Brennan's CIA nomination and bring attention to Obama's overreach of the Federal government with the U.S. drone program (of which Brennan was one of the chief architects).

Only Eric Holder could put it so eloquently, “President Barack Obama has the legal authority to unleash deadly force, such as drone strikes, against Americans on U.S. soil without first putting them on trial...”

But not every senator praised Paul's leadership. South Carolina's very own U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, chided Paul for his outspoken leadership. Instead, he patronized Paul as “ridiculous.”

Graham was against Brennan before the filibuster, calling him “arrogant, kind of a bit shifty.” But a few hours after dinner with the president, Graham was suddenly in favor of him, determining that the nomination was instead a referendum on the drone program.

As South Carolinians, we are no stranger to controversy. Our politics are notorious for it, for better or worse. Oftentimes for worse.

In a state with many active duty military and veterans alike, we pride ourselves in our patriotism of God and country. But what's the price for freedom? Is opposing a drone program against U.S. Citizens on U.S. soil really opposing our military? I would argue opposing "judge, jury and executioner" style drone strikes is standing up for the constitutionally guaranteed principles our military has been protecting for more than 200 years. Would someone please clarify that for Lindsey Graham?

This is a fundamental issue about our individual liberties. It's about the federal government, our constitution. It's about the ever growing arm of the federal government, encroaching into our lives.

So as Graham continues rehabilitating his liberal voting record by appearing on Meet the Press and FOX News every week, remember, he is a republican senator who voted for liberal supreme court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

When he says, “Foreign relations are not a Democrat or Republican issue, but an American issue,” but still votes to send foreign aid to countries that teach their children to hate our culture and freedom, burn the American flag and support terrorism. We should realize that more and more Americans want to shield their sons and daughters from harms way when they go to war.

When he campaigns against a republican senator in a general election, take Democrat Joe Manchin for instance, we will continue to hurt the Republican Party.

As he works in a “bipartisan” manner on a "grand bargain" that includes higher taxes, and when he decides that he “will violate the tax pledge” for the “good of the country,” he waters down our fiscal conservative values in the process.

So as we continue to dismember the republican party, when we should be coming together on the basic tenets of individual liberty and the free-market, remember this:

Paul's filibuster is the reason the president no longer has the authority to use an unmanned aerial craft to kill an American on U.S. soil “who was not engaged in combat.”

Thank you Rand Paul and true conservatives like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and others who backed him, for your leadership on a fundamental issue facing our nation, and that is our right to individual freedom and liberty.

Your courage under fire, even from moderates in your own party, sets the example for how to reclaim constitutional government and God given rights for every American.

This opinion piece originally ran on The Hill, read it here: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/287033-rand-paul-was-right-to-highlight-us-drone-policy#ixzz2Mz0SzYlV

Nancy Mace is a Republican consultant in the Lowcountry.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

stanley seigler March 09, 2013 at 05:41 PM
re: As South Carolinians, we are no stranger to controversy. Our politics are notorious... 'notorious'-ly dumb...eg, always voting against our own self interest, advocating for voter suppression (voterID), and fighting for free access to WMD (ak47s, whatever) that crazies use to murder innocents... forsureforsure notorious...it always gets a laugh and eyeroll when i tell folks i'm from SC...pls dont fire on fort sumter again... re: randy's a quack. and a 'disciple' of atheist ayn rand... that said, for the record, i love SC and sville...
John A. Kauth March 09, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Thank you Stanley. I could,'t have sait it any better!
John A. Kauth March 09, 2013 at 06:24 PM
The drone boogeyman has been causing much consternation lately. These scary machines with no pilots are going to bomb Americans in their beds! <sarc> How silly! A drone is nothing more than a remote piloted aircraft. Aircraft with pilots have been dropping bombs since WW1. Fighter jets are authorized under extreme circumstances to shoot down commercial airliners. Not only jets but helicopters can fire missiles and drop bombs. The reason drones are used in Afghanistan and other countries is because there is no risk of losing a pilot if they are shot down. Here in the states that's not much of a factor. So let's end the silliness of Americans being killed by drones on American soil. Now drones for surveillance purposes are another story for another day. Rand Paul was showboating for his followers. He received the appropriate two line reply from Eric Holder.
Galen Manapat March 09, 2013 at 07:34 PM
It seems to me that you are missing the point entirely. Why would I want to trust someone's verbal statement ? Oh that would never happen ! You'll be safe always ! You can trust me ! NOT I want protection under the law, due process of law, not the verbal assurance of a lier. Rand Paul's filibuster was one of the finest things I have witnessed in at least 24 months. And it is not just that, how about freedom of privacy ? Just because it wants to, can a "benevolent" government eavesdrop on any US citizen at will ? God save us all from that. I won't use profanity, but thank God for a MAN with convictions.
John A. Kauth March 09, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Hi Galen, The use of military force domestically has been spelled out for many years, even before 911. I commend Rand Paul for having the conviction to actually perform a real filibuster. The subject of this particular thread is the use of military force against (in this case drones) to kill people domestically. This is why I did not go into domestic spying with drones. Since 911 and the passage of the Patriot act no communication domestic or foreign is free from US government interception. According to Wired magazine there is a new spying facility in Utah capable of scanning every communication, internet,phone and radio world wide including the US. Also most surveillance cameras that transmit their data in some form are also being monitored. This greatly disturbs me but is not the topic of this Patch article.
reg March 09, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Not only was Rand Paul's filibuster pointless (since the NADA already clearly specifies that citizens are excluded, except when confirmed to be of traitor status during an actual military conflict), but it was a just a fundraising ploy, too --- Right after it ended, he sent out his bulk email calling himself a hero for his 13-hour waste of congressional time, requesting campaign donations. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/rand-paul-drones-filibuster-fundraising-campaign
reg March 09, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Galen, the defense authorization act (which is Dept of Defense's budget bill that goes to Congress every session) clearly specifies terms of use of these programs; in fact, the president sent it back to Congress in 2011 and said he wouldn't sign until it clearly specified that U.S. citizens were exempt from all that.
stanley seigler March 09, 2013 at 09:00 PM
in case some havent read the MJ article: [CLIP] Paul's rant targeted a nonexistent dispute...Take away all Paul's hyped-up hysteria and he didn't truly disagree with the administration's position...So why did Paul go ballistic? Here's a clue: to cash in on his stunt by zapping out a fundamentally inaccurate fundraising email for his 2016 reelection campaign. [end clip] as galen say, 'thank God for a MAN with convictions.'...time for eye roll...
Dr. John March 11, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Sen. Paul was right to do this. The leaked memo on drone policy was ambiguous as was Holder's explanation that extreme circumstances could require drone strikes on Americans. Paul's letter to the justice dept was clear in asking the question regarding the use of drones on Americans not posing an imminent threat. After weeks of not getting a specific answer to his question, he peacefully protested within the boundary of the rules. I am surprised that a lot you libs are getting hot and exercised over this. This pales to the gymnastics you guys are known for with things like the patriot act and Bush ( which this president has continued). The domestic use of drones will be the 21st century challenge for civil liberties domestically (privacy) and now, hopefully no hostile engagement.
reg March 11, 2013 at 03:42 AM
"leaked memo on drone policy" ???? Can you produce that, please? Sorry, Paul's filibuster was nothing more than a fundraising stunt. The bill in question regarding this issue clearly states U.S. citizens are never such targets. In fact, the president returned the annual defense budget bill to Congress in 2011 to make sure it said such wordage even more clearly than it already has for the last 60 years this same budget bill has been introduced under the same name. This was only a stunt that Paul hyped in a fundraiser immediately when his filibuster ended ---- a waste of taxpayer money only to get campaign money. Rand Paul should be put on trial for this.
Shawn Drury March 11, 2013 at 03:55 AM
And charged with what, Reg?
Tom Utley March 11, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Wow, it's amazing how far some people will go to tow the party line. Thank goodness there are some principled Democrats out there, like Jon Stewart, who recognize when someone on their side is doing it wrong.
Galen Manapat March 11, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Some other thoughts by the Britts, or how they view the issue: Http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world news/barackobama/9913615/Barack-Obama-has-authority-to-use-drone–strikes-to-kill-Americans-on-US-soil.html
reg March 11, 2013 at 03:29 PM
wasting time and money in congress only for his own personal fundraising
reg March 11, 2013 at 03:34 PM
hmm....the tabloid Telegraph, who's big story of the day is "The peri-peri chicken chain Nando’s inspires cult-like devotion"
Jonathan Allen (Editor) March 11, 2013 at 04:05 PM
"This pales to the gymnastics you guys are known for with things like the patriot act and Bush" The Patriot Act has plenty of fingerprints on it from both sides of the aisle, in that case both sides really are bad, but I hope you're not trying to say that Bush was a "lib" Dr. John. I wish that all filibusters were still the "talking filibuster," I think it would greatly cut down on the abuse of the procedure if anyone threatening one had to stand up and start talking. Plus human biology would play its own role in limiting how long the filibuster actually lasts. But I don't see how Paul's use of the filibuster actually accomplished anything. Holder originally told Congress that in certain circumstances use of armed drones on or above U.S. soil against Americans could be an option, and he gave an example of a situation like 9-1-1. His 2 sentence letter to Paul seems to me to still leave that possibility intact. “Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil?” Holder’s letter reads. “The answer to that is no.” (from Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/03/07/white-house-obama-would-not-use-drones-against-u-s-citizens-on-american-soil/) A strict reading of that response clearly leaves open the option of using a drone if an American on U.S. soil is engaged in combat, so what's the difference between that position and the one Paul filibustered?
Dr. John March 15, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Reg, Here is the leaked memo obtained by NBC. It does refer to the ability of this administration to target US citizens and is vague on what circumstances are appropriate for use of deadly force. Rand Paul was right to address this issue in the public square. http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf It is referred to as a "white paper" memo, but I assure you that there was no intention for this to be racist or exclusionary of black people. A "black paper" memo is really hard to read and is more costly than white paper.
reg March 15, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Thank you for posting the source that verifies my belief that fearists are over-extending this as another futile anti-Obama campaign. To quote your reference: “Any operation of the sort discussed here would be conducted in a foreign country against a senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or its associated forces who poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States. A use of force under such circumstances would be justified as an act of national self-defense. In addition, such as person would be within the core of individuals against whom Congress has authorized the use of necessary and appropriate force. The fact that such a person would also be a U.S. citizen would not alter this conclusion. The Supreme Court has held that the military may constitutionally use force against a U.S. citizen who is a part of enemy forces.” This limit of activity "conducted in a foreign country" and only against "a senior operational leader" that "Congress has authorized" and "the Supreme Court has upheld" makes it quite clear that the fearist/theorist "blame it on Obama" attempt is just another reichwing tactic. Thanks again for posting the link!!
Shawn Drury March 15, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Reg, If you could be charged with that pretty much every member of Congress would be indicted. That's what politicians do.
Dr. John March 15, 2013 at 03:57 AM
So we both agree that our government can kill an American citizen if officials determine him to be an imminent threat (as defined by a national security official) and would not be entitled to due process? My point is that if that is left unchecked, without more specific criteria, the 5th amendment rights of an individual may be violated. Why the use of imminent threat? Why not immediate threat? The memo also states that geographical limitations do not restrict the use of this force. I don't know? Listen to the congressional hearings where Holder does a Mexican hat dance to evade the constitutional limits of this memo, http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uGQQOyzWen4
reg March 15, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Shawn, the Federal Election Campaign Act is loosely worded, and the FEC itself is not in position to enforce or prosecute, but elected officials are not allowed to conduct legislative activities specifically for fundraising purposes. In this case, Paul wasted 12 hours of Senate floor time on a blatantly irrelevant filibuster ---- and minutes after it closed, submitted fundraising queries that used that same filibuster as the premise of his request.
reg March 15, 2013 at 04:22 AM
Yes, ducktor, if you are a traitor, and of a high rank within an established enemy group, and are currently engaged in a plot that threatens the security of the United States and its citizens, then you can be taken down. Just like if you were robbing a bank, and threatening the lives of hostages, police can take you down. As for this fearist theorist premise that "OBAMA CAN SEND DRONES TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN LOOKOUTLOOKOUTLOOKOUT!"??? Don't assume that everyone is silly enough to fall for that over-extended, a-Paul-stle stance.
Dr. John March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Wow, Out of all of the posts here, it seems "reg" might be the winner for the most dramatic as well as insulting. It is a sure sign of a person balancing on a thin argument when the personal attacks and exaggeration start. So far robbing a bank, and worrying about our children being "droned" are arguments he is using to distract us from the poor framework of his argument. Of course we would expect violent measures In a hostile situation. But planning a terrorist attack is a treasonous act and poses no immediate threat. These people, if they are American citizens, should be arrested, detained, interrogated for information, processed through the courts and then sentenced if guilty. It sounds like you disagree with this and this unfortunately is not a radical position as you describe it, at least not as radical as denying personal rights to US citizens if capture is possible?
reg March 16, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Sorry, duck, but your last comment seems to only make it clearer that its not this subject that bothers you, its just the president. And you're just jumping on any opportunity you can to drop any blame on the president --- even jumping sides when you have to. LIke *you* saying "planning a terrorist attack is a treasonous act and poses no immediate threat"??? Huh? Since when? Shoot, stick to the nest, ducktor, and leave the real world to us galloping geese, whydontcha? and another crucial flaw to your argument: "if they are American citizens, be arrested, detained, interrogated for information, processed through the courts and then sentenced if guilty" --- can you tell us where it says that American citizens in these circumstances CAN'T be arrested, etc? Does it say they MUST be taken down? **NO** --- it only says that it CAN be done if of particular immediate need, as in no other option. Shoot, ugly ducklings can see that. But you're implying it to mean something completely different? It's still winter, ducktor -- please fly further south.
Dr. John March 16, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Reg, In your opinion, where does the 5 th amendment become irrelevant? Or for that matter, when does the first amendment become irrelevant? Do the words imminent threat in the memo mean immediate threat to you? The bill of rights mean something to me and I have offered criticism of infringement of personal,liberty to both republican and democratic politicians. I will not be a spectator while "defense department officials" decide to use or not use lethal force against a citizen who is not causing immediate harm. Just like I don't let your bullying tactics, name calling and attempts to destroy my character or intimidate me in speaking about a reasonable opposing opinion to yours.
reg March 16, 2013 at 04:34 AM
apparently, ducktor, there's a significant portion of the 5th you're overlooking: "except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;" Please refresh yourself on the terms of the policy I mentioned earlier: "Any operation of the sort discussed here would be conducted in a foreign country against a senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or its associated forces who poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States." Do you see the correlation there, ducktor? apparently not (is your bill too big that it blocks your vision?) Even if you are a citizen of the United States (say, by birth here), **if you are overseas in a foreign nation ... *and* are a senior leader of the al-Qa'ida terrorist organization ... *and* are posing imminent threat of violent attack against the U.S.* ... then guess what? *Damn straight the US military can take you down.* Whoa! What are you trying to project yourself to be, ducktor? Some dope-smokin', flower-kissin', tie-dye hippie or something? "Oooooh! Just because he's a senior official in a terrorist group who is currently in a foreign country and is about to attack the United States, like, that doesn't mean, you know, like, he's not a coooool doooood or nothin', right? Let's just, you know, wait for him to surrender and we can, like, arrest the guy. Peace, man. Love. Sollllllid!!!!"
Robert Kelly March 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM
I think it is clear from American law and practice that drones are not, and will not be, used to kill Americans in America. Abroad? I have to admit I am curious about the reaction from the drone killings, with respect to the killings by Navy Seals and by traditional American military force. I am not defending the use of drones to kill wedding parties and civilian homes with family members, but neither do I advocate traditional military force to do that either. We already lost the moral high ground when we invaded the middle east countries under false pretenses and under no threat to the United States. Why are the defenders of our foreign war making now suddenly concerned about the tools we are using? Is it because it appears to be cheating to use remote control planes which do not endanger American pilots? Is it like a football team using a radio to tell the quarterback which receiver is open downfield? Is it a sense of "fair play" that it is all right to invade a country, but you at least have to put the lives of your soldiers and pilots on the line? Would some supporter of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who opposes drones, please explain the core issue to me. I'm serious. I am not looking for a bunch of pacifists to explain this with appropriate sarcasm; I really want a sincere war hawk to answer this.
Dr. John March 16, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Robert, I will leave your question to Reg. He is the biggest proponent of using drones and warfare in the Middle East so far on this post.
Robert Kelly March 16, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Dr. J, I am not looking for a supporter of drones, I am looking for a supporter of the wars in the middle east who is also critical of the administration's use of drones. It's OK to bomb and kill in person, but drones are crossing the line? I would like to understand the logic. So far, no explanations.
Ambassador March 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM
I guess we will agree to disagree. As far as I am concerned, the simple and brief reply from this garbage we call the AG took more than a few hours to put together. Why was it so hard to immediately say no in very clear and substantial words instead of this nanny panny answer. What did they have to think about? I do not trust our federal government--when the AG and his boss--these pieces of garbage-- open their mouths you know they are lying----THAT IS THE REASON WHY I WOULD BE QUESTIONING THIS DRONE SUBJECT. This federal government scares the hell out of me. You have something to say about my comments? You scare me. Stay the hell out of my backyard--I cannot stand the smell.

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