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Rand Paul Op-Ed: Who’s next on Obama’s drone hit list?

Who’s next on Obama’s drone hit list?
By Sen. Rand Paul

Fundamental right to trial by jury goes missing

The recent leak of a Department of Justice white paper on the legal justification for the use of drones to execute American citizens abroad accused of terrorism raises some very important constitutional and moral issues. Politicians should not decide the crime and the punishment for American citizens here or abroad. A trial by jury with a judge is a right to be prized by American citizens.

Now, if you join al Qaeda, bear arms and attack U.S. forces, no one will argue that you still have a right to a trial. In the heat of battle, everyone understands that those launching grenades will have no jurisprudence.

Yet, if you leave the country and take up arms or encourage others to support violence, or call for America’s destruction, you are a traitor. If you are a traitor, you deserve to be fired on by an armed drone.

If you’re launching a missile on U.S. troops, if you are launching a missile toward the United States, if you are hijacking a plane, if you are setting off a bomb, if you are leveling an AK-47 at any one of our soldiers — by all means and with great expedition, we will drop a drone bomb on you. No one is arguing against employing immediate and lethal force against anyone whose finger approaches a trigger.

President Obama’s drone killing goes a great deal further, however. Mr. Obama tells us that an “imminent threat” need not be “immediate.” What? Only a group of lawyers could argue that imminent really means the opposite.


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Why Do So Many People

on DP just LOVE to argue over Rand so much? I am getting really tired of all the Rand is Great Rand is Bad BS that takes place on this site all the time. I have seen less childish arguments on Sesame Street!


"Traitors" deserve trials too!

You hear the word traitor all the time...thrown around way too easily. If you decide traitors deserve to be assassinated, there will a lot of assassinations going on....even Ron Pul was called a traitor by some because he voted to not fund the Iraq war.

Rand is the lone voice in the Senate

Opposing this.

Considering the percentage of Americans who are skeptical of drone strikes on American citizens, he has a real opportunity to not only effect change, but gain a healthy respect and name from the populace.

As he continues to develop his own personal platform and gain political experience, he is impressing a lot of people, including *gasp* the media.

If he helps cause the GOP to actually split into two parties, well good let it split. Maybe it NEEDS to split.

Yes, some are arguing Rand

You think Dronerciding someone for pointing a gun at one of your country's soldiers is right?

What's one of your country's soldiers doing on foreign soil without a "constitutional" declaration of war?

Rand, your lethal force usage isn't to protect the ordinary US citizen- it's only for the enforcer class or political class. Everyone else is expendable. Your ruling class did nothing to protect the common man when 9/11 happened.

At least he's trying

Better than the other 99% of Washington knuckleheads.

If you don't agree with Rand, what other Senator's opinion do you endorse then?

What's that? Right. There aren't any other senators opposing drone kill lists.


I'm glad Rand wrote the Op-Ed...at least SOMEONE is focusing on this ENORMOUS issue...but it was pretty tepid, considering we are talking about the possibility (eventuality?) of drones killing Americans outright, on a mass scale.

Certainly, if history has warned that police power should be separated from judicial power, history would be appalled at politicians accusing (not charging, not arresting and not convicting) and going straight to killing American citizens without so much as a passing thought to the idea of consulting a judge or a jury.

I'm not one of these Tea Party patriots who can only understand right and wrong if it's couched in references to the Founding Fathers.

Get to the point, Rand! YES Obama and Brennan are giving us every reason to suspect that they are going to start dropping drones on Americans IN America! So yes they ARE bad, geez!

I suspect that Rand is used to dealing with dumb people, so he dumbed this down on purpose for popular consumption.

"but it was pretty tepid"

Yes, but you write for the audience. If you start off talking to the average person about the possibility of our government behaving like Soviet Russia and slaughtering its own people en masse, you're simply going to be dismissed as a nut, end of story. Better to take a more "tepid" approach so that people actually listen to what you're saying.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

"If you join Al Qaeda.."

That skirts half the issue. They get to just decide you joined. That is too much wiggle room. With this vaguely defined "War on Terror" making the entire world a battle ground lets them cover all their crimes under cover of "they were an enemy combatant."
If they are not on a battlefield in a declared war, they deserve a trial.
And I am sorry, but if our soldiers were not IN THEIR HOMELAND no one would be leveling rifles at them.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

You're misinterpreting his comment

He said "if you join al Qaeda, bear arms AND (not OR) attack U.S. forces".

There was no oxford comma, so

There was no oxford comma, so couldn't we interpret the second part as an apposition, or even interpret the first comma as an OR?

Nevertheless, without breaking his oath to the constitution, there is no way that Rand Paul can tenably say that ANY GROUP does not have a right to a trial. All these politicians (as he rightly put it) would have to do is to just say that someone did these three things, and that person is done. Sounds like the Dorner fiasco. Doesn't everyone see the loophole?

Ron stood up for the right to a trial in all cases. The Allies gave the Nazi's trials, so why on earth can't the USA simply capture these "suspects" (and that is ALL they are), give them a trial, and prove their case?

The founders fought our revolutionary war over this.

Get with it Rand!

Are you guys serious?

Read the next sentence...

"In the heat of battle, everyone understands that those launching grenades will have no jurisprudence."

He's saying that if you are actively attacking US forces, there is no expectation for a trial.

Rand has given many interviews on this. I'm surprised these comments can be this easily misinterpreted.

So, this guy does not deserve due process?


Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

That's because the anti Rand

That's because the anti Rand faction are being irrational.

It isn't irrational at all.

What is irrational about it?

Rand said: "Now, if you join al Qaeda, bear arms and attack U.S. forces, no one will argue that you still have a right to a trial"

Who determines what "al Qaeda" is and whether someone joined it?

I have asked a simple question, and am not being irrational.

I am defending the principle to the right to address the accuser in a court. A right given by our Constitution.

I am in tune with how people use newspeak and doublethink, ad hominem, hubris, and all the rest. I've noticed that many of the new users who just joined a few months ago are generally the same ones who employ this kind of mean, biting, insults on people who are just trying to make a point. If they don't have anything further substantive to say on the issue, they'll make sure they change the subject in a vague way by throwing out an insult.

But, the truth remains: we have our Constitutional right to a trial, no matter what the charge.

So if you join a terrorist

So if you join a terrorist group and plan on killing us...in position to kill us with weapon in hand and intent to kill...you should have a trial? Even if capturing you would put our the lives of ou service men at risk?

Define "join a terrorist group"

The FBI is running around pulling crap lie this ALL THE TIME:

YES. EVERYONE deserves a trial. If it is a DECLARED WAR on a DEFINED BATTLEFIELD, they are obviously enemy combatants. The "War on Terror" is a vague bit of nonsense that opens the door for ANY dissent to be called "joining a terrorist group."

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Ok...perhaps I should be more

Ok...perhaps I should be more clear. If you walk into a shop with a bomb strapped to your chest yelling with the clear intent of blowing everyone up around you than yes...perhaps you should be taken out.

Even if the FBI gave you the bomb?

Offered you $50,000 to walk into the shop? Oh, and since the FBI made the bomb, no one is really in danger? Because that is how EVERY ONE of these "domestic terrorist" stories has unfolded.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

So everyone who's walked into

So everyone who's walked into a place with a bomb strapped on their chest was offered money from the FBI. Hmmm...interesting but I don't buy all of it. But I guess if you are dumb enough to take money to strap a bomb to your chest than I guess you are a threat to us.

They target mentally ill people.

The Underwear bomber, the Portland Mall bomber - look into whatever "domestic terror" suspect the FBI has arrested, and it is the FBI that plans and executes all these "attacks" and it is the FBI that supplies the "bomb" that is never really a bomb. It is not "dumb" it is mentally deficient, and being taken advantage of by psychopaths.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

See I thought all along that

See I thought all along that anti American terrorists existed for various reasons but more specifically because we meddle in their business and steel their resources. I didn't realize it was all false flags.

You guys are too much.

You are taolking about foreigners on foreign soil

When people bomb troops who came in and waged war on their homeland, they are defending themselves. That is not how our news spins it. But US troops go into foreign countries and bring all their weapons along, and start battles. When they are being attacked by the NATIVES of a region those natives are not "terrorists" they are terrified, and defending themselves.
I am talking about these alleged US "domestic terror" plots that the FBI keeps "exposing." Those are the "terrorists" that will justify armed drones over YOUR head and mine.
Cleveland bridge incident:
NY Synagogue incident:
Portland Christmas Tree incident:
NY Federal Reserve incident:

How many do you need to see the pattern?

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

What about the ones who walk

What about the ones who walk into a shop full of civilians or bomb a wedding? Who are they?

What's the definition of

What's the definition of "joining al Qaeda," and who is to determine the association before the drone killing?

Rand Paul says that "if you join al Qaeda, bear arms and attack U.S. forces, no one will argue that you still have a right to a trial."

How does one define "al Qaeda? What proof is there of the association? What proof is there of the attack? Rand misses the boat here on the whole point. We need a trial to answer these questions and accusations. Otherwise, there is tyranny.

Of course there is a difference on a battlefield, but these people have made the entire world the battlefield. You cannot find a place that they don't think is a battlefield.

I am arguing that it is Rand's duty as a US Senator to defend any and every citizen's right to a trial, exactly as it is clearly defined in the Constitution.

Rand is defending right to trial

How are you missing the whole point? Did you read the entire piece?

Rand says that everyone deserves a trial UNLESS you are actively attacking US forces.

He goes on to say that suspected individuals should be TRIED for treason, even in absentia.

"surprised these comments can be this easily misinterpreted"

They're willfully misinterpreted. ; )

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

No, I have an independent

No, I have an independent mind, and can think for myself.

Ron said that we can give all of these people trials like we did with the Nazi's.

Rand is saying that there are some people who won't get a trial.

It is just another example of Rand capitulation, in my view.

I don't like the idea of the definitions of "terrorist" as an excuse for murder or torture without trial.

If you will please please please read (or reread) 1984, you will see how these labels can be abused by the politicians.

What I'm saying here is that Rand pulled back a bit from Ron on this, but I think Ron is right.

It is perfectly legitimate...

...to use force to stop a criminal act in progress, that's all Rand's saying. For instance, you walk up to me and point a pistol at my head. I'm within my rights to use force to stop you. The trial comes later. In the article Rand is trying to disabuse people of the false notion (pumped into them by the media) that affording "terrorists" the right to a trial somehow precludes the possibility of stopping terrorist acts in progress - which it doesn't.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Thank you! But you can't

Thank you! But you can't argue with these people. They are a bit out of touch.

Is your assumption

that Rand believes if you joined al Qaeda, you can be killed without trial?