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Rand Paul Launches a Filibuster Against Drone Strikes On US Soil 693

Posted by Soulskill
from the which-aren't-actually-a-thing dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that at about 11:45 am today, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul took the floor of the Senate to launch one of the chamber's rarest spectacles: a genuine filibuster. Paul says he is 'alarmed' at the lack of definition over who can be targeted by drone strikes. He called Attorney General Eric Holder's refusal to rule out drone strikes to kill an American on U.S. soil 'more than frightening,' adding, 'When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It's an easy question. It should have been a resounding, an unequivocal, "No." The president's response? He hasn't killed anyone yet. We're supposed to be comforted by that.' Any senator can opt to hold the floor to speak on any matter, but the practice of speaking for hours on end is rare, especially in the modern-day Senate, where the chamber's rules are used more often to block legislation or to hold show votes on trivial matters. Paul has since been joined in his symbolic effort by Republicans Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Tex.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.). He has also gotten some bipartisan support from Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.). Paul suggested that many college campuses in the 1960s were full of people who might have been considered enemies of the state. 'Are you going to drop a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?'"
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Rand Paul Launches a Filibuster Against Drone Strikes On US Soil

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  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:27PM (#43098093) Journal

    is not my friend. But damn if I'm not happy someone is asking these questions and putting up some serious opposition.

    • by KermodeBear (738243) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:34PM (#43098201) Homepage

      On the other extreme I really like Rand Paul, and though I am not thrilled by people like Pelosi or Reid, I would support them 100% if they would speak out against drone strikes on US citizens.

      There needs to be less "Us vs. Them" in American politics. There needs to be more "Right vs. Wrong".

      • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:37PM (#43098231) Homepage Journal

        On the other extreme I really like Rand Paul, and though I am not thrilled by people like Pelosi or Reid, I would support them 100% if they would speak out against drone strikes on US citizens.

        There needs to be less "Us vs. Them" in American politics. There needs to be more "Right vs. Wrong".

        Sadly, you'll have to wait until there's a Republican in the White House before Reid or Pelosi speak against the drone strikes.

        • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:43PM (#43098299) Homepage Journal

          There needs to be less "Us vs. Them" in American politics. There needs to be more "Right vs. Wrong".

          Sadly, you'll have to wait until there's a Republican in the White House before Reid or Pelosi speak against the drone strikes.

          Re: Mods

          THAT'S NOT FUNNY! It's the crux of the fucking problem!

          • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail . c om> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:51PM (#43098431) Homepage

            THAT'S NOT FUNNY! It's the crux of the fucking problem!

            Yeah, odd isn't it. Where are all these groups and people now who were protesting against the war. Especially now that Obama has launched three new ones, and wants to have defacto powers to execute americans on american soil without due process. But he wants to give arrest rights to terrorists taken on battlefields. Anyone else see some type of logical disconnect here? Or is the partisan ship really that blindly strong, that they won't "speak up" because it's "not a republican." I'm guessing it's because "not a republican."

            Cue the angry whiners that say my post is partisan politics at it's finest. Personally my stake in US politics rides as far as: Canadian interests, how will it effect my property values in Florida, and is cake vs pie still a worthy debate.

            • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:17PM (#43098745) Journal

              Where are all these groups and people now who were protesting against the war.

              In jail [wikipedia.org]

            • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:23PM (#43098811) Homepage

              Now that's a lie. All those people out there protesting the wars, protesting the drone strikes and protesting an out of control military industrial complex, are still out there. They are simply being completely ignored by mass media. There is also of course no support by any political party to organise mass action which can force public recognition.

              So it is not on of partisan politics. It is lack of political support and corporate media at it finest 'er' worst. All the protesters are still the but there are no mass actions, as there is no supportive political organisation to drive them.

              • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @11:53PM (#43101195)

                Now that's a lie. All those people out there protesting the wars, protesting the drone strikes and protesting an out of control military industrial complex, are still out there.

                Perhaps your partisanship has led you to forget that Senator Obama spoke against and campaigned against the wars, against deficit spending, against the health insurance mandate, against all sorts of things that President Obama has been only too happy to engage in.

            • by t4ng* (1092951) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:26PM (#43098857)

              Where are all these groups and people now who were protesting against the war. Especially now that Obama has launched three new ones, and wants to have defacto powers to execute americans on american soil without due process.

              Don't you remember? They were shouted down, pelted with trash by passers-by, corralled by police, and largely ignored by both the media and politicians. The protests were completely ineffective. My proof? The illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were started by Bush anyway.

              Politics makes strange bedfellows. I think it is hilarious that Democrats cheer for a health care law that was originally designed by Republicans during the Clinton administration, while Republicans protest it now because it was passed into law by Democrats. And now we have Republicans protesting drone programs created during the Bush administration, and protesting killing Americans with drones when the Bush administration killed at least one American without due process because he was deemed an "enemy combatant."

              But I doubt Republicans will want to put too many restrictions on a warmongering, domestic-spying Democratic president. They realize any laws they pass now to rein in Obama could also be used rein in future presidents, which may be one of them.

              • by bwcbwc (601780) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @08:11PM (#43099411)

                I note that the key phrase of the filibuster is about "killing Americans on American soil". So neither Republicans nor Democrats have a problem with killing Americans abroad? I think I better cancel that trip to Germany. What a subtle way to enforce travel restrictions while seeming to allow freedom of movement [/hyperbole]

                Seems like trade between the US and China DOES affect politics and policy: we're becoming more totalitarian and restrictive even faster than China is opening up.

                • by dryeo (100693) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @08:41PM (#43099695)

                  I find the key phrase to be killing people without due process. Whether American or not, it is wrong to randomly kill people for their political beliefs.
                  Could be worse, here in Canada the right wing is going to remove citizenship from terrorists to get around that problem. Of course the definition of terrorist seems to constantly grow.

                • by Solandri (704621) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:54AM (#43102281)

                  I note that the key phrase of the filibuster is about "killing Americans on American soil". So neither Republicans nor Democrats have a problem with killing Americans abroad?

                  It's been 20+ years since I took the course in Constitutional law (elective - I was an engineering major), so I can't cite the exact SCotUS case which established it. But U.S. Constitutional protections are limited to U.S. territory. That's why Bush sent prisoners to Guantanamo - it's Cuban territory, not U.S. The U.S. just has a perpetual lease on it (we pay Cuba about $4000/yr for it, though Castro felt the treaty was invalid and refused to cash the checks). That freed the administration from pesky things like the Constitution when it came to dealing with the prisoners. The SCotUS eventually decided the lease effectively made it U.S. territory and thus the prisoners had Constitutional rights, but both administrations seem to be ignoring that decision.

                  So the key phrase is actually "on American soil." Foreigners visiting the U.S. also gain Constitutional protection while they're in the U.S. -- even illegal immigrants, which is what the whole flap about the law passed in Arizona was about. The concept of a drone strike taking out someone within the U.S. appears to violate the Due Process clause because it's difficult to think of a situation involving a drone where there's an immediate threat to life thus warranting the use of deadly force. To use a drone to kill someone, you pretty much have to have decided to execute the person without apprehending him, and thus without having put him on trial. Very different from a cop who kills a suspect who points a gun at him.

                  People are just adding the "killing Americans" part to it to generate a stronger reaction. If you just say "killing people on American soil", some people who think terrorists shouldn't have Constitutional rights will say "yeah, I can see that being justified some time." Even though they're wrong, it dilutes opposition and distracts from the central issue. So they're narrowing it down to the one case pretty much the entire public will have a problem with - killing Americans on American soil.

                  Outside the U.S., the Constitution doesn't apply, and the government is free (legally) to kill people left and right (morally is another question). Killing U.S. citizens abroad seems to be kinda iffy, but as I understand the legal precedent there's no Constitutional restriction against the government doing it especially during a state of war.

              • by PraiseBob (1923958) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @08:18PM (#43099473)
                I think that explains it pretty well. A few weeks before the Iraq war started, the world saw the largest coordinated protest in history across hundreds of cities, with millions upon millions of people calling for peace. The end result: Nothing. The largest action of its kind in human history, and it did absolutely nothing.

                Fast forward to protests held during Obama's tenure, the Occupy Wall Street movement. This time it wasn't a single day, but weeks, and months, of protest camps across hundreds of cities. The end result: ? How many bankers have been arrested? How many laws have changed? What impact has it had aside from a media sideshow?

                And now the GP wonders, why aren't people protesting more? Why aren't people making a big protest against the president's claim to kill political dissidents? It's ridiculous to claim that partisan politics are what stand in the way. It didn't prevent OWS from happening did it?

                Can anyone name a single protest in the past 20 years that has actually caused a change? Thats why people aren't protesting now.
                • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:18PM (#43100115) Journal

                  A few weeks before the Iraq war started, the world saw the largest coordinated protest in history across hundreds of cities, with millions upon millions of people calling for peace. The end result: Nothing.

                  That's because most people supported the Iraq war right before it started. I was really upset at Bush for a while, for taking the country in a direction the people didn't want go. Then I realized, America did want to go that direction. So I stopped being so mad at Bush and got mad at the American people. Including all the congresspeople who authorized the war.

                  I would add that your point is a good one, protests don't make a huge difference, at best they draw attention to a problem. But everyone already knew about the Iraq war, so what's the point?

                • by Pseudonym (62607) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:56PM (#43100387)

                  Can anyone name a single protest in the past 20 years that has actually caused a change?

                  Yes. The 1999 WTO protests in Seattle (and the follow-up S11 protests in Melbourne) caused lots of changes. After that, the authorities could no longer trust protestors to behave themselves, and so became far more adversarial. These protests effectively undid the multiple decades of goodwill that had been established between police and activists since Vietnam.

                  I'm guessing that's not the kind of change you meant, though.

                  Oh, and while I think of it, the early Tea Party protests gave the Koch Brothers a ready-made astroturf front to help in their campaigns to sway public opinion. I guess you could say that had long-lasting effects.

                  On a more serious note, the SOPA/PIPA protests seem to have worked, though of course the work isn't finished.

            • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:38PM (#43099013)

              Especially now that Obama has launched three new ones

              I don't disagree with most of what you said, but this part stands out to me. I've seen it mentioned by people who identify themselves with the Tea/Republican party but I don't know what three wars they speak of. At best, I can think of our involvement in Libya (where most of Europe got involved too) and possibly a reference to Syria (where in truth we are sitting and watching the government kill it's people). I don't believe we got involved in Mali (yet).

        • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:46PM (#43098329)

          Sadly, you'll have to wait until there's a Republican in the White House before Reid or Pelosi speak against the drone strikes.

          Really? I remember Pelosi going along with just about everything Bush2 wanted.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:49PM (#43098395)

          You're right.

          It's just like we had to wait for a Democrat in the White House for the Republicans to demand any action on wartime injustice committed by our country. They had no problem OK'ing all of it under Bush, including torture.

        • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:52PM (#43098445) Homepage

          So cynically true.

          I've come to realize that American politics isn't about policies at all. It's tribalism. How else can you explain how Democrats who once shredded GWB on his horrid civil liberties record, clam up and circle the wagons around Obama when Obama is even worse than GWB. It obviously has nothing to do with the policy being evil if both sides do it, and that leaves nothing but base tribal defense.

          Obama and his ilk in the DNC are precisely why I have utterly abandoned them. Last election I voted for my fucking cat on any ballot position for which there was no third party candidate. I'd vote for Satan if he ran as not-GOP or not-DNC, and you know what, I'd be voting for the lesser evil.

          • by Type44Q (1233630)

            I've come to realize that American politics isn't about policies at all. It's tribalism.

            I wish we were so lucky. In reality, you've fallen for what's nothing more than a fucking puppet show; all of these slimebags on both sides of the aisle work owe their allegiance to the same shady special interests.

            • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:48PM (#43099103) Homepage

              You are absolutely correct. Elected officials are pure scammers. When I wrote of tribalism though, I was thinking more of the party members -- the rank and file. You don't have to look hard to find people whose identity is partly comprised of their party affiliation. And when you talk to these people it's a wall.

              Lackey: GWB was evil.
              Me: Obama is doing the same thing.
              Lackey: Oh, so you're one of those pickup driving low information voters then -- where's your KKK badge?

              Lackey: Obama is a marxist.
              Me: He wants to cut social security, even said his policy was similar to Romney's in a debate.
              Lackey: Those fucking patchouli stinking pot smoking hippy marxists ...

              Anyway, these types of people honestly and deeply hate each other on a purely tribal basis. That's what I was getting at. I also think it is a somewhat dangerous dynamic, at least potentially, because it is not based on reason, just hate.

          • by Qzukk (229616)

            American politics isn't about policies at all. It's tribalism

            No shit, what do you think happens when you can't vote for "policies" and any vote not for a Republican or Democrat is "wasted"?

        • by Sloppy (14984) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:10PM (#43098671) Homepage Journal

          That's why America needs to playfully toggle the president's party more often: to make Congress look at schizoid as possible, for our amusement. "I'm a constitutionalist! It's a living document! Small government! Big government! Flip! Flop! The president must kill the terrorists without wasting courts' resources on an unnecessary trial! The president must not harm the innocent without due process! Rabbit season! Duck season! I demand you shoot me now!"

      • by sydneyfong (410107) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:39PM (#43098245) Homepage Journal

        There needs to be more "Right vs. Wrong".

        Usually this degenerates to: "I'm right, you're wrong".

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          There needs to be more "Right vs. Wrong".

          Usually this degenerates to: "I'm right, you're wrong".

          If speaking of politicians, I'd say - give them both some drones and permission to obliterate one another: for the last politician standing, we may need to find some other means to keep at bay - the ballot box may be a start.

      • by jythie (914043)
        The problem is we are constantly arguing about right and wrong, and how right and how wrong, and how much wrong is ok if it is for a greater right.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:14PM (#43098709)

        Question: why, exactly, does the citizenship of the victim make a difference?

        Murder is murder. It's just as illegal to kill a Yemeni as it is to kill an American, wherever you are.

        You're right, there needs to be less "us vs them". But you're not dropping the distinction at all - all you're doing is drawing the boundaries in a different place. But the boundaries themselves are still just as arbitrary.

        (Of course there are extenuating circumstances if you're at war. But in that case the citizenship of the victim still doesn't matter. Look at Lincoln: he ordered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of US citizens on US soil, and history doesn't generally condemn him on those grounds.)

  • Almost... (Score:5, Funny)

    by chill (34294) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:27PM (#43098105) Journal

    He had a lot of people thinking about it, until he offered up dropping a Hellfire on Jane Fonda. Now they're all thinking "Let's not be hasty here. This is the perfect test case."

    • Re:Almost... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:34PM (#43098207)
      I was thinking that we have a new rule of the internet:

      Any sufficiently advanced humour is indistinguishable from politics.

      then I realised that it's the other way around.

    • Re:Almost... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jythie (914043) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:50PM (#43098415)
      Heh.

      Unfortunately, looking at how the FBI abused its powers decades ago, we would more likely see such powers used against various college kids. Hoover was infamous for using government powers to crack down on civil rights activists, including going as far as to orchestrate at least one high profile smear campaign to cover up an agent's role in the murder of an activist. All under the idea that civil rights leaders were threats to America and thus enemies of the state.

      So it wouldn't be the Jane Fondas of the world that would suffer, it would be no-name nobodies that do not have enough of a public personality to survive the 'they were enemies' rationalization.
  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:28PM (#43098111)

    Paul says he is 'alarmed' at the lack of definition over who can be targeted by drone strikes.

    Why isn't EVERYONE IN CONGRESS alarmed by this?

    • by Darth Twon (2832799) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:31PM (#43098151)

      Why isn't EVERYONE IN CONGRESS alarmed by this?

      They like power. Even though we the people have the power constitutionally speaking...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Why isn't EVERYONE IN CONGRESS alarmed by this?

        They like power. Even though we the people have the power constitutionally speaking...

        Not for long

    • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich.aol@com> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:31PM (#43098153) Journal
      There is no lack of definition: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, 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; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." It's right there. It's a crime against the constitution for the government to kill a US Citizen, on US Soil, without due process.
      • by bmacs27 (1314285) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:33PM (#43098171)
        Right, but you missed the part where Obama actually took the position that secret tribunals without you present or even aware of them can constitute "due process."
        • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:51PM (#43098419)
          Can you cite where Obama says targeted killings count as due process? It was my understanding that the stance of the White House considers drone strikes as military actions that don't require due process.
          • by bmacs27 (1314285) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:17PM (#43098751)
            My understanding is that you are privy to due process as a US citizen until you are declared an enemy combatant. The question is what due process is necessary for the executive to make such a declaration. Specifically, how do you extend the concept of a battlefield when considering modern warfare. Obama effectively asserted that a high-level official declaring you a suspected enemy is sufficient to satisfy your right to due process. Here's a reference from Bloomberg. [bloomberg.com]
          • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:18PM (#43098757)

            Can you cite where Obama says targeted killings count as due process?

            You can read a discussion right here [motherjones.com]. Granted, not Obama personally, but presumably Attorney General Eric Holder voices Obama's position

            It was my understanding that the stance of the White House considers drone strikes as military actions that don't require due process.

            Not so. Well, I think it is their position that they got 20 good reasons and this is just one of them:

            "'Due process' and 'judicial process' are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security." Holder said. "The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process."

          • by Hatta (162192)

            "Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security,â
            -Attorney General Eric Holder

          • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:35PM (#43098963) Journal
            You can check this analysis by a Harvard constitutional law professor [bloomberg.com]. Apparently the administration believes terrorist Americans deserve due process, but they redefined due process. Here is a quote from the professor:

            The Obama administration’s apparent belief that due process can be satisfied in secret inside the executive branch is...a travesty of the very notion of due process. And to borrow a phrase from Justice Robert Jackson, it will now lie about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any administration that needs it.

            Another interesting quote reveals a fact of which I was unaware:

            Although the white paper doesn’t say so, Awlaki even tried to get a hearing before he was killed. His father asked a federal court to find that he wasn’t a terrorist. But the court never heard his claim, because the Obama administration persuaded it not to consider the case.

        • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:52PM (#43098451)

          Right, but you missed the part where Obama actually took the position that secret tribunals without you present or even aware of them can constitute "due process."

          Obama can take a position that Congress needs to be summarily dismissed, since executive branch is handling things just fine without them.

          But if he has no authority to do so, then Congress is supposed to stop him. After all the huffing and puffing, Congress cannot even seem to get a reading copy of legal memos authorizing drone strikes. How much more subservient can they get?

          • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:57PM (#43098515)

            Obama can take a position that Congress needs to be summarily dismissed, since executive branch is handling things just fine without them.

            Interestingly enough, shortly after the Congress declared war in WW2, President Roosevelt "suggested" that Congress go into recess until the war was over...

            Luckily for all of us, Congress told him to pound sand....

      • by cusco (717999) <brian.bixbyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:39PM (#43098257)
        This is an error I see repeated all the time. Nowhere does it say "citizen" in that statement. The Constitution pertains to everyone, including illegal immigrants, foreign fighters that have infiltrated the border, fishermen offshore but within territorial waters, tourists, everyone. The only place in the Constitution where citizenship is mentioned is in qualifications to hold office. Sorry, maybe I'm just being picky but I think it's an important point.
      • by sokoban (142301) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:50PM (#43098407) Homepage

        The Insurrection Act (w/ 2006 amendments) however does in fact authorize use of military force in certain circumstances:
        "(1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to--
        (A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that--
        (i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and
        (ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or
        (B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).
        (2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that--
        (A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
        (B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws."

      • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:57PM (#43098519) Journal

        It's right there. It's a crime against the constitution for the government to kill a US Citizen, on US Soil, without due process.

        Allow me to point out some other things that are in the Constitution:

        • Use taxes are effectively a sales tax on interstate commerce, which falls into the powers granted solely to the federal government. The Supreme Court upheld them because apparently nobody cares if something fails the duck test anymore.
        • Searches of your personal papers without a warrant are unconstitutional, yet every day, LEOs violate that. Somehow those papers existing electronically makes them special, for no reason other than because that makes it more convenient for the government.
        • Habeas Corpus cannot be suspended except under certain extreme circumstances, and the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to a speedy trial. Yet there are people in a Guantanamo Bay right now who have not gotten a trial after more than a decade.

        And so on. The fact of the matter is that you only have the rights that you are willing to defend. If we as a society are unwilling to vote the bums out for defiling the Constitution, then that becomes the new normal. Worse, because justices change over time, newer justices who see these abuses as normal will have less reason to question the next set of abuses. Over the generations, this results in an almost unstoppable march towards tyranny. The slippery slope is very real. It just takes several generations to be fully realized.

        Of course, historically speaking, things always eventually get to a point where the masses revolt and form a new government designed to protect them from the abuses of the past, usually by ensuring that the worst usurpers are the first against the wall. However, just as inevitably, that new government eventually gets perverted over the decades or centuries until it looks a lot like what they had before. Rinse, repeat. And this pattern pretty much describes all governments throughout history.

        Sadly, there is one truth, and that is this: that which you are unwilling to defend will be taken away from you. If you value freedom, you must be willing to act against those who would take it away—casting your vote, running for office, and so on. If you do not do that, then you have no rights, and no piece of paper is ever going to change that.

    • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:32PM (#43098167)
      Let's start with why isn't the general public alarmed? They are opposed, certainly. But not alarmed. I don't know if the media is to blame, but they could definitely change this lack of alarm. How easy would it be to apply journalistic tricks (questions in headlines) and plain old focus to this issue?

      Example Headlines: "Drone Strikes, Could YOU Be Targeted?" or "The 5th Amendment: Still Standing?".

      Articles could then explore who might be killed, or whether these strikes are a clear violation of constitutional rights.

      We could also see these issues brought to the forefront more readily.
    • by Ksevio (865461)
      These are a lot of the same people that felt it was better to just ignore Gitmo rather than deal with the prisoners there.

      There's not that much difference between sending a drone in or a fighter jet, or a team of marines - all things congress has been ok with in the past.
    • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:58PM (#43098531) Journal

      Because, (D) good (R) Bad (or Visa Versa). That's why. In this case, if this was GWB, it would be bad, but since it is Obama, it is okay. Just look through the post on this thread to see plenty of (D)s saying it is okay because it is a (D) president. It is shocking.

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:29PM (#43098123)
    That's why we elect the Populist candidate every once in awhile... keeps it interesting... well done, Senator, well done.
  • You can (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pop69 (700500) <billyNO@SPAMbenarty.co.uk> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:30PM (#43098139) Homepage
    After due process of law, isn't that the constitutional justification for the death penalty ?
  • Ron Wyden (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:33PM (#43098181)
    Once again, Ron Wyden's name appears in a noble context. The man needs to run for President.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      I am a fan of Wyden, and voted for him, but this subject is nonsense. A bunch of ignorant plebes are getting all worked up about drones, but if you say all thr same things in the context of an F-18 doing it they have no problems.

      "that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court."
      How is that different then:
      that no American should be killed by a police officer on American soil without first being charged w

      • Re:Ron Wyden (Score:4, Insightful)

        by arc86 (1815912) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:47PM (#43099095)

        I am a fan of Wyden, and voted for him, but this subject is nonsense. A bunch of ignorant plebes are getting all worked up about drones, but if you say all thr same things in the context of an F-18 doing it they have no problems.

        "that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court." How is that different then: that no American should be killed by a police officer on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.

        also: Paul also said that he was “alarmed” at the lack of definition over who can be targeted by drone strikes. why not: Paul also said that he was “alarmed” at the lack of definition over who can be targeted by Navy Ship strikes.

        “Are you going to drop a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?” Paul asked. “Are you going to drop a bunkerbuster bomb on Jane Fonda?” Paul asked.

        seriously? It's stupid.

        This is about tax votes, avoiding responsibility for they sequestration, and not wanting Brennan. This has nothing to do with the military attack american on american soil.

        But when police shoot people on American soil, they have to claim self-defense since they are not executioners. Armed drones ARE executioners and thus should not be used on American soil. Or am I missing something? Why in the world would we ever want to do this or not be willing to give a simple "no" answer to the question of whether we will?

  • by CommieLib (468883) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:34PM (#43098209) Homepage
    There's only reason why you would refuse to rule it out - it's already happened, and if it becomes commonly known, you'll have nowhere to retreat to politically.
  • Due Process (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmacs27 (1314285) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:36PM (#43098221)
    Due Process is the magic term. Obama asserts that due process does not necessarily imply trial by a jury of your peers. It can be a secret tribunal in which you aren't present, or even aware it is taking place. That's the constitutional contortion they are using to justify this particular gem. The real problem is that it's almost impossible to challenge in the courts. First of all you need someone that can demonstrate damages (good luck, you just blew him up). Second of all you need to get around state-secrets privilege in order to actually see the evidence they used to declare someone an enemy combatant. Good luck with that.
    • Obama asserts that due process does not necessarily imply trial by a jury of your peers.

      Then perhaps President "Constitutional Scholar" should consider reading the document he supposedly went to school to study, specifically:

      "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury"

      In short, I don't give two fucks what some asshat politician 'asserts,' the definition is there, in plain fucking English, so that everyone will know their rights.

  • by ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:01PM (#43098575)

    The ticket to win 538 electoral votes.

  • by runeghost (2509522) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:08PM (#43098643)

    but this is definitely a great moment for him. I hope he can keep it going until he forces an answer out of the White House.

    This is how filibusters ought to be done!

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