Sen. Rand Paul on impact of marathon filibuster on drones
Did effort spark national debate?
- Duration 13:00
- Date Mar 7, 2013
Did effort spark national debate?
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Fox News alert on new fallout after -- In what is being called a unique moment in political history.
That is now -- winning praise from both sides of the -- that's we begin this brand new hour of America live welcome everyone I'm Megyn Kelly.
Republican senator Rand Paul taking a stand against what he calls a threat to liberty speaking for hours and hours during an old fashioned filibuster.
Blocking the confirmation for the time being of John Brennan.
The president's pick to run the CIA in an effort to protest the Obama administration's refusal.
To explicitly rule out it possible drone strike.
On an American citizen.
On American soil.
Senator Paul held the floor for most of the day at times talking for more than three hours nonstop he also had a little help from some of his fellow senators.
In a rare political moment not seen in years.
Watch what happened.
I rise today to begin to filibuster John -- nomination for the CIA.
I will speak.
Until I can knows no longer certainly I'd like to ask.
To the testimony that attorney -- senator from Kansas without yielding the floor if -- can most Americans would find it.
Repulse these the president at this time I would entertain a question without you in the floor from senator from residents of an extraordinary.
To our country I would yield.
Without yielding the floor for another question.
And -- -- my last.
Question before I get to let me just say that -- you know all the other senators that are -- something.
I have no problem people want to talk.
Long time it's no -- done it time to my days.
President I'd like to thanks senator from Texas for coming to the floor and cheering me up I was getting kind of tired and I appreciate.
Bringing news from the outside world you don't want to have a standard.
Where are someone who we think might be a terrorist who we think by being -- -- think who's in a restaurant eating dinner would be killed.
And I think that's something every member of this -- -- senate Republican questioned thought conservatives question all I've told them that I will remove myself from the blockage of John Brennan's nomination as soon as we get some clarification the -- out hey I'm still.
Absolutely we're not going to be killing two Americans not in a combat situation that we will Obey the constitution of the Fifth Amendment does apply to all Americans.
And there aren't exceptions.
But I think you very much for the day forbearance and I yield the floor.
-- -- And and the applause began.
Joining us now live senator Rand Paul of Kentucky senator welcome hope you've had some rest now.
And -- -- you on on the substance because it on this on the topic of -- -- using drones against Americans here on American soil it's never happened.
And no one is threatening to do it in fact they're saying it's entirely hypothetical -- seeing it would be extremely unusual that the scenario would even come up.
So why make an issue out of it.
-- the oath of office of the president says I will protect and defend the constitution.
It doesn't say I intend to when it's convenient.
And this administration has talked about selective application of the Fifth Amendment.
Drone strikes overseas are often done to people in noncombat situations.
In restaurants walking on the street in cars and in their house while they sleep.
That's not the kind of standard we can have in our country if you're sitting at a cafe I don't care -- -- emailing -- what you're talking about.
If they think you -- associated with terrorism you need to be arrested.
And you need to get your day in court as a fundamental American freedom and that's what we're fighting for around the world would give up on that.
I think we've we've done a great disservice to those who are defending our country.
But there's a distinction between killing terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda wanna kill -- overseas with drones.
And killing Americans and the only American -- intentionally killed with the drone overseas is on -- all of a locking.
And there was quite a bit of evidence about his willingness and operational planning to kill.
And and in that instance the president had announced that.
And people had filed lawsuits about and so on it you know and so it it was it.
It wasn't some secret plan to kill in America.
-- here on American soil using a drop.
It's a different situation you're right it's different overseas -- it will be here.
It's different in the battlefield that it will be here.
Which gets precisely to the argument I have with some other Republicans who say.
Well the battlefield is everywhere there's no limitation President Obama says this some members of my party say.
The battle has no geographic limitations and the walls of war apply.
It's important to note that the law -- that they're talking about means no due process.
And I agree with that embattled and so when shooting at -- you don't ask for they don't give Miranda rights or warrants or -- you shoot them.
When anybody actively attacking you you're allowed to -- that would -- sole authority.
However -- If they're not engaged in combat and if -- in the United States I don't think that the long wars apply to the United States.
The police act differently in the United States -- the military action overseas there's different rules of engagement.
I don't wanna give up on the procedural constitutional protection that we have to all of the amendments to plead the fifth and sixth amendment.
Jury trials an important thing -- rest and being charged.
Determining your guilt these are really important things we can't leave that determination up to one politician to decide.
Guilt or innocence.
As you know there is a history -- in this country have -- -- having to make decisions like this and when you first wrote the attorney general expressing your concern about whether we might use -- -- here on American soil.
He wrote back saying look you know it hypothetically in some imaginary circumstance you know something might be possible he said if necessary to protect the homeland.
In circumstances of a catastrophic attack for example.
Pearl Harbor what happened on 9/11 on 9/11 that fourth plane that those brave passengers brought down -- can't -- Pennsylvania.
Vice President Cheney with UK from President Bush had authorized that claim to be shot down and that would have -- a whole lot of American civilians.
To save thousands of lives.
I mean and -- I was -- -- this president that he doesn't have that authority.
It if something else.
I'm not I'm not I'm not saying he does have that authority were tough but targeted drone attacks on individual American citizens.
I have never argued that the president doesn't have the right to make an immediate decisions to protect our country from attack when it's an imminent attack like that.
F sixteens were scrambling I have no opposition to that.
So attorney general holder answered a question we weren't asking.
We're talking about targeted strikes and -- -- we're talking about John Smith.
Who's eating at a cafe in Seattle.
That happens to be also emailing a cousin of his who lives in the Middle East.
And that cousin someone is determined might be a terrorist now he is associated with terrorism.
Does that country or the president get -- I know he's an enemy combatant and he gets no lawyer and he gets no trial.
His guilt is I think up to discussion.
And you shouldn't drop a drone strike on him he shouldn't target an American citizen.
We have a tough -- sometimes if you've ever been to a jury trial it's not always easy to determine innocence and guilt.
So if you're not lifting an arm against your country if you're sitting in a cafe -- he should be arrested like any other criminal.
But you can't be killed with a targeted missile strike.
And the president's been asked directly about this city's evaded the question.
He has not answered are you gonna target American citizens on American soul he said well we might have different rules outside and inside.
And I say for goodness -- you have better but I really can't conceive of targeting Americans this has nothing to do with repulsed -- attack.
This has to do targeting individual people not involved in combat that's what we've ask and answer.
And I think they've been given an answer to the media but we haven't received again.
Yeah I'd I don't know if you're afraid this letter but this is that we just got this agreement before you came on its address you early days sanity you guys before they -- -- -- -- because -- -- -- wedding -- -- and it's from the attorney general of the United States is directed to -- And it says dear senator -- it has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question.
Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized -- to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil.
The answer to that question.
Is no sincerely.
Hooray for thirteen hours yesterday we asked them that question and so there is a result in a victory.
And under -- public humiliation.
The White House will respond and do the right thing.
It took a month and a half to get them to admit that the CIA doesn't operate in the United States that's been the -- since 1947.
So now after thirteen hours a filibuster.
And we are proud to announce that the president is not gonna kill unarmed Americans on American soil.
My next question would be why did it take so long why's it so hard.
And while -- -- president so jealously guard power than they were afraid to say this.
But I am glad and I think that -- does that question the answer does answer my question.
We -- our last hour before -- came on about what extraordinary thing you did in uniting senators like John Cornyn of Texas a conservative.
Marco Rubio -- Florida.
Along with the ACLU -- code pink all standing on the same side on an issue but they wasn't unanimous and ended.
The partisan factions on the assert that they divided in an unexpected way.
Some other Republicans including John McCain and Lindsey Graham -- not so happy with what they witnessed from you yesterday.
Suggesting -- done a disservice to Americans I want to let you hear some of what they setting get a chance.
A disservice to a lot of Americans by making them believe that somehow.
They're in danger from there government there or not.
But we are in danger.
We are in danger from a dedicated.
Easily replaceable leadership enemy that is hell bent on our destruction.
That he wants this president to tell him.
That he will not use a drone to kill an American citizen sitting in a cafe having a cup -- Who is not they combatant.
I'll find a question offensive.
Two points there -- number one they suggest you're focused on the wrong danger number two they think here.
-- demeaning the the office of the presidency and your thoughts.
The reason the question is asking is precisely because of the theories behind Senator McCain and -- logic.
They think the whole world is a battlefield including America and that the walls of war should applaud.
The laws of -- don't -- involved due process.
So senator Graham has been very explicit on the Florida say when -- ask you for an attorney you tell them shot up.
That's not sort of my understanding of the way America works it's not the way -- -- and I understand when.
An American would be accused of a crime that really tell them if you want a lawyer shot up.
So I don't think the laws of war applied to America I think the bill of rights do and I think it's a disservice to our soldiers.
That we have senators up there arguing that the bill of rights are important.
This is a very serious question it was a question that took -- a month and a half to get an answer to.
And so I would argue and I think that a lot of the public would agree with me both on the right and the left.
The -- we -- was a very serious question and it's a question I think we finally got an answer to see the president apparently thought it was a serious enough question and answer.
-- -- Sorry the -- that apologies were wrapping up LSU quickly and they got tired stood for twelve hours and take bathroom breaks anything you do differently they had to do it again.
And my would have beaten a bigger.
I have really hadn't planned on doing and we walked in that moment and you never know whether the floor will be open usually the floor is sort of held captive by the majority party they won't let you get up there and talk.
-- let you talk for specified times so I was fortunate that the floor was open and that I had an issue like cared passionately about.
And I think it's good idea for other countries have a real debate sometimes about.
Does the bill of rights apply some questions aren't easy this is about terrorism do so does the bill of rights applied when is it -- -- really -- -- That's a good thing you have that that candy desk little -- -- -- in the US senate and then Milky Way candy bar senator thank you that much so much for being here mr.
Went to -- and -- mr.
bomb -- question.