financialsense.com / By Richard Larsen / 03/13/2013
“One man with courage makes a majority,” penned Thomas Jefferson. When that courage is armed with principle and backed by constitutional precepts, it’s formidable. Such was the case this week when Kentucky’s Junior Senator, Rand Paul, took to the floor of the senate in a one-man filibuster, reminiscent of the 1939 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
Unlike his counterpart in the classic Frank Capra film, however, Paul’s filibuster was over constitutional principles, and citizen rights.. The issue for him was whether the President of the United States was presumed to have power to supercede the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the Constitution by killing American citizens, on American soil, with unmanned aerial devices (UAV), or drones.
The setting was the confirmation of John Brennan as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Brennan refused to answer Paul’s question during the Senate sub-committee confirmation hearing regarding the use of drones to attack American citizens domestically. Senator Paul was appalled at the idea that the administration would even consider using drones domestically without a citizen ever having been charged with a crime in a court of law.
An American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) lawyer, Nate Wessler, validated Paul’s premise in an interview this week, when he referred to the administration as, “Judge, jury, and executioner,” if they used drones domestically.