Appearing on Fox’s Happening Now this morning, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes against American citizens suspected of plotting against the United States, and lamented the fact that the leaked DOJ “white paper,” which he said essentially authorizes the president to assassinate American citizens without due process, could lead to targeted killings of American citizens on U.S. soil.
“The idea that you get a trial before a jury and a judge if you’re accused of a crime is something that we’ve had in our history through English history, as well as through U.S. history, for 800 years,” the outspoken senator said. “It’s a very important part of the Bill of Rights: due process.”
Paul explained that he has submitted a letter to John Brennan, Obama’s pick to head up the CIA, threatening to filibuster his nomination because of lack of answers on whether he’d view killing American citizens via drones as a legal act by the government.
“What we’re talking about is not killing someone with a grenade launcher on their shoulder,” Paul explained. “We’re talking about someone eating at a café in Boston or New York and a hellfire missile comes raining in on them. There should be an easy answer from the administration on this. They should say absolutely no, we will not kill Americans in America without an accusation, a trial and a jury.”
He continued: “And i’m not talking about people engaged in lethal force. I’m talking about people sitting in a café having coffee. People like this are being killed around the world. We should not do this in America and it’s inexcusable that the administration will not answer, ‘Absolutely, no, we will not do this.'”
To Paul’s point, people have been killed by American drone strikes abroad while at funerals, weddings, and eating roadside. The two well-known examples of American citizens being assassinated by a strike were Anwar Al-Awlaki and his Colorado-born 16-year-old son (each in separate strikes).
Host Jenna Lee asked why it is that Brennan has yet to answer his letter. “I’ve gotten zero response, and that is sort of the way this administration is treating Congress,” Paul explained.
“The president says he has no intention but that is sort of like saying, well, he doesn’t like the Second Amendment either but he doesn’t intend to overturn it at this time. That is what he is saying,” the senator went on. “He has no intention of dropping a drone or dropping a bomb from a drone on an American right now. He should say he has no right to do so without a trial. We’re not talking about someone engaged in a lethal action or imminent violence; we’re talking about people they’re targeting who are sitting and potentially conspiring.”
Watch below, via Fox News:
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