Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2013

John McCain attacks Rand Paul on filibuster, drones saying he needs to ‘calm down’

U.S. Sen. John McCain slammed fellow Republican Rand Paul on the Senate floor Thursday morning for his 13-hour filibuster to block John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA Director.

Caricature by donkeyhotey, donkeyhotey.wordpress.com (cropped)

Caricature by donkeyhotey, donkeyhotey.wordpress.com (cropped)

“Calm down, Senator,” McCain said, in an address to Paul. “The U.S. government cannot randomly target U.S. citizens.”

In his filibuster Wednesday, Paul criticized the White House over its drone policies, and for refusing to rule out military strikes against U.S. citizens on American soil.

McCain said Thursday that Paul’s warnings that the U.S. could target “Jane Fonda” or “people in cafes” bring the debate into the “realm of the ridiculous.”

“If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids,” McCain said, adding: “I don’t think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) echoed these criticisms, adding that he was “disappointed” in the 13 Republican Senators who supported Paul’s filibuster last night. Graham scoffed at Paul’s question about whether Obama thinks he has the authority to kill a noncombatant American citizen on U.S. soil.

“I find the question offensive,” Graham said Thursday on the Senate floor. “As much I disagree with President Obama and as much as I support past presidents, I do not believe that question deserves an answer.” Paul’s question, the South Carolina Republican said, “cheapens the debate.”

Graham later told reporters that he will vote to confirm Brennan as a result of the filibuster


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Neocons attempt to blast Rand Paul filibuster - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain are part of a group that ridicule the question, “Is it constitutional to order a drone strike […]

  2. Samuel R. Kephart says:

    Drone usage promises to aid the identification, monitoring, capture, and if need be execution of terrorists and others who represent a clear and present danger to the United States.

    Further, an ever-increasing number of U. S. citizens at home and abroad wish us harm, so they are included, without distinction, as potential targets.

    The problem is the current rules for drone usage lack clear definitions for the operational terms “material support,” “The potential intelligence value of the individual,” and the all-inclusive phrase “Such other matters as the President considers appropriate.” It’s Catch-22 with no way out.

    Under the law as currently written, any U. S. citizen who is a war protester, publicly exhibits anti-government sentiments, is a Tea Party activist, or a political opponent of a given Administration could fall (or be made to fall) under one or more ill-defined and ambiguous conditions and therefore be deemed an “enemy combatant”.

    If the Feds believe you are committing a “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities,” you can be hauled off and held indefinitely in military custody with neither legal recourse nor due process. Your Constitutional rights to free speech and personal liberties would disappear with the stroke of a hidden pen.

    Cleverly invented to counter growing terrorism, drones usage offers no controls nor checks and balances to prevent them from being used for politically nefarious purposes.

    Imagine what Richard Nixon would have done if he’d had such peremptory or discretionary presidential authority? Any of his antagonists, like Daniel Ellsberg, would have monitored by domestic drones… and then Ellsberg would have been picked up and held for providing “material support” to the enemy in a time of war.

    There are currently no discernible safeguards to prevent a paranoid and power hungry President (think Johnson, Nixon, or Obama), or his/her national security team, from using drone technology as a threat and/or punishment to political enemies, particularly given the exigencies of war or a domestic emergency like 9/11.

    For national security purposes, Americans are already subject to warrantless wiretaps of calls and emails, the warrantless GPS “tagging” of their vehicles, the domestic use of Predators or other spy-in-the-sky drones, and the Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of all our behavior through “data fusion centers.”


    Given this toxic mashup of losses of privacy, if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then domestic drones are a superhighway to an Orwellian panoptic gulag.

    America’s promise has always been the power of the many to rule, instead of the one. Ungoverned drone usage, particularly domestically, gives power to the one.

    Domestic drone usage is ill-conceived, elitist, and end-runs our inherent Constitutional protections.

    Here are two (2) different videos that anchor my points:



  3. Brandt Hardin says:

    Paul struck the right chord with me for certain and I’m a bleeding-heart liberal. Our Constitutional Rights are in severe danger now more than ever with due process being submerged in the name of fighting “terrorism.” American Citizens can be held without trial and now be assassinated by remote controlled drones. We are at war with ourselves more than these shadowed enemies and have created a Society of Fear and Paranoia. Read more about Orwellian doctrine becoming a reality and my visual responses to national and cultural Fear Mongering on my artist’s blog at dregstudiosart.blogspot.com

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