07 March 2013

Rand's Stand

Some people say you can judge a person by his enemies. In politics such judgments have limited value since alliances are always shifting, but it probably does help us judge Sen. Rand Paul's authentic he-man filibuster -- he actually stood and spoke -- against the confirmation of the next CIA director that two of the biggest warmongers in Paul's own Republican caucus, Senators McCain and Graham, have denounced him for daring to ask whether the President assumes an authority to kill noncombatant domestic "enemies" with drones on American soil. For Sen. Graham, the question is "offensive" and doesn't deserve an answer from the President or his director-designate. Admittedly, the scenario is a kind of reductio ad absurdam, as was Paul's already-derided analogy with firing a missile at Jane Fonda during the Vietnam war. But if it takes examples like that to know where the government draws the line, then they're at least a start. Paul is not out of line to want to know where the President ultimately draws his line on the discretionary use of drones and missiles against "enemies" and "threats." While some of the Republicans who supported Paul in his filibuster -- one Democrat also took his side -- can be dismissed as hypocrites if they raised no similar questions during the Bush administration, Paul has only just arrived in the Senate and his attitude toward the War on Terror has mostly been that of his father. His filibuster may be a bit of personal grandstanding to help him establish a national identity out of his father's shadow, but based on McCain and Graham's contemptuous outbursts it can't be called a partisan ploy. Paul's domestic policies are abominable, but the filibuster might be one of his broken-clock moments. Even those are right sometimes; whether it's more or less often than Rand Paul you can decide for yourselves.


Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that, legally, the CIA isn't allowed to operate within US borders, so how or why they would be allowed the use of ANY equipment or operation against American citizens on US soil is (or ought to be) unconstitutional to say the least. But then, the CIA has a habit of acting as though they are above all law.

Personally, I think it is time for the CIA to be completely gutted, it's chief operators detained indefinitely and investigated to see just how far beyond the pale they have gone. There is enough circumstantial evidence to support charges of drug running and money laundering to at least warrant a full on investigation. It will never happen, of course, since those who attempt to defy the CIA tend to find themselves dead.

Anonymous said...

Here is a random thought:
When society dictates the politics, you have freedom.
When politics dictates the society, you have tyranny.

Ironically, neither can exist without the other. It seems to me that, from a certain perspective, they are part of a whole that, somehow, most people are not seeing.