many here seems to think I always give liberals a pass. Maybe you guys should start posting unmitigated praise for Obama for me to oppose.
Here's an interesting one for you, Justin.
Wall Street Journal - OPINION wrote:
Rand Paul's Drone Rant
Give Rand Paul credit for theatrical timing. As a snow storm descended on Washington, the Kentucky Republican's old-fashioned filibuster Wednesday filled the attention void on Twitter and cable TV. If only his reasoning matched the showmanship.
Shortly before noon, Senator Paul began a talking filibuster against John Brennan's nomination to lead the CIA. The tactic is rarely used in the Senate and was last seen in 2010. But Senator Paul said an "alarm" had to be sounded about the threat to Americans from their own government. He promised to speak "until the President says, no, he will not kill you at a café." He meant by a military drone. He's apparently serious, though his argument isn't.
Senator Paul had written the White House to inquire about the possibility of a drone strike against a U.S. citizen on American soil. Attorney General Eric Holder replied that the U.S. hasn't and "has no intention" to bomb any specific territory. Drones are limited to the remotest areas of conflict zones like Pakistan and Yemen. But as a hypothetical Constitutional matter, Mr. Holder acknowledged the President can authorize the use of lethal military force within U.S. territory.
This shocked Senator Paul, who invoked the Constitution and Miranda rights. Under current U.S. policy, Mr. Paul mused on the floor, Jane Fonda could have been legally killed by a Hellfire missile during her tour of Communist Hanoi in 1972. A group of noncombatants sitting in public view in Houston may soon be pulverized, he declared.
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. That does not include Hanoi Jane.
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.
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.
Well guess what, Justin? This unsigned (????) OPINION piece in the WSJ generated 786 comments - almost 100 percent negative. Mine was one of them, and I was not gentle. Never in my life have I seen the WSJ OPINION section publish something so anti-libertarian, nor have I seen the almost universal condemnation by its readership.
There's more. About a week after Dr. Paul's marathon filibuster - from which he successfully got his promise from the president IN WRITING not to harm citizens on U.S. soil with drones - we get this.
Wall Street Journal wrote:
Rand Paul Tops Field in Poll of Conservatives
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky narrowly won a straw poll of thousands of conservatives Saturday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Mr. Paul, listed on the ballot with 23 other political figures, picked up 25% of the vote, CPAC organizers announced Saturday evening. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was a close second-place pick, with 23%. Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum came in third, with 8% of the vote.
Mr. Paul’s victory was fitting for a conference that tends to draw young GOP activists with a libertarian streak. More than half of the nearly 3,000 who voted were ages 18-25.
Understand the preferences here, Justin. The young Dr. Paul is almost as quintessentially libertarian as you get in the group of individuals who choose to run Republican. Rick Santorum - the gentleman who came in a distant third - is the classic bible belt social conservative.
Here's a good example of a written letter to the WSJ about their editorial.
Regarding your editorial "Rand Paul's Drone Rant" (March 7): The problem isn't simply the president's ability to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, which everyone acknowledges may be an important tool of the commander in chief if he is faced with an immediate threat and no practical ability to effect a capture. The problem is that the president would like to determine these definitions at his sole discretion (and the leaked white paper suggests that "immediate threat" and "ability to capture" could mean anything he decides those terms mean) and doesn't want to acknowledge that his actions may be limited by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees due process to all U.S. citizens.
Forget the specifics of today's situation. Mr. Paul's most important point is that once this precedent is set, it can be expanded and subject to misuse in the future. Who will be president in 20 years? How do we know he won't broadly define the country's enemies as his own political opponents? Even the current administration has released memos defining potential terrorists as people who are pro-life, own guns or publicly advocate adherence to the Constitution. The Republican establishment has once again showed itself to be nothing but shortsighted careerists.