Sunday, March 10, 2013


I rarely agree with the senator, and I do not like the filibuster as a debate tactic...but Sen. Paul's central point in his anti-drone argument was right on.
We are, supposedly, a nation of laws. But the use of drones for a decade or more has made the executive, not the judiciary,  prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner..and that is not the American way..nor the rule of law.
Whether used by the military or the CIA, suspect lists are drawn up (on what evidence we do not know) and with executive approval drones are launched, not to capture terrorism suspects (which might be the source of valuable information) but to kill. Inevitably the innocent die, whether family members, neighbors, or just plain bystanders.
It does not make any difference to me whether those killed, without the benefit of indictment, trial (and defense) are foreigners or Americans--though the latter makes the situation even worse. The U-S has followed certain rules in finding and punishing these people for years,.but no more. Drones make it too easy, and Congress didn't seem to get upset until Americans were targeted. But that goes back at least to the last Bush administration, if not earlier. (We don't know.)
And why we would let the agency that brought us WMD, that didn't "connect the dots" in the 9/11 hijackers, or know that North Korea had long range missles and maybe nuke bombs, be responsible for summarily killing our fellow citizens means we have turned our back on all the checks and balances, all the historic laws that have made America the land of freedom and liberty.
That is what Sen. Paul pointed out in his filibuster. But as a Washington Post columnist wrote: "this is an argument with America's conscience over what actions should be permissible in the 'war' against terrorism.  Adding "We forget how much we've debased (our) ethical standards in the decade since America went to war against Al-Qaida and drones became the weapon of choice."
That is what Sen. Paul reminds us--and it is a call to our conscience:  it's time for America to have a debate on drone policy, before the problems they present overseas become problems here in the USA.
And for that we need to thank him.
I'm just sayin'...

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