I love it:
Sen. Rand Paul declared victory Thursday after Attorney General Eric Holder assured him that the president cannot use a drone to kill a noncombatant American on U.S. soil — an assurance Paul had sought during his 13-hour filibuster the day before.
“Hooray!” Paul responded when the letter was read to him for the first time during an interview with Fox News. “For 13 hours yesterday, we asked him that question, so there is a result and a victory. Under duress and under public humiliation, the White House will respond and do the right thing.”
During his dramatic filibuster, which delayed a vote on CIA director nominee John Brennan, Paul had demanded the administration clarify the government’s authority to kill on U.S. soil. The filibuster ended past midnight early Thursday morning. The Senate voted, 63-34, to confirm Brennan later Thursday afternoon.
Shortly before the vote, Holder sent a terse letter to Paul that read: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
In response, Paul said Thursday that “we’re proud to announce that the president is not going to kill unarmed Americans on American soil.” He later took to the floor to promote the attorney general’s response, as the Senate moved to confirm Brennan.
Good for Paul for standing his ground on this. The only reason he stopped his near-13 hour filibuster shortly before 1 a.m. ET was because he had to go to the bathroom.
I should note that just because he has “assurances” from the administration, it’s not set in stone, but at least now if it happens this administration and perhaps future ones will have a have a little less wiggle room when it comes to legal proceedings and Congressional investigations in the aftermath.
Meanwhile, if you imagined you couldn’t get any madder at the Duncetastic Duo of John McCain and Lindsey Graham, think again. The way they talked down to Paul on the floor of the Senate today, suggesting his very serious concerns about Presidential power were “ridiculous” and an “abuse of the filibuster”, should go down in the books as some of the most shameful moments in the history of the United States Senate. Of course they, along with NC GOP Senator Richard Burr and several other “key” Republican Senators, were wined and dined by Obama last night in grand fashion and didn’t lift one finger or say one word in support of Paul’s dramatic floor speech. Senator Paul, on the other hand, dined on a … candy bar … during his filibuster.
I think I’ve finally figured out what “establishment Republican” means and Graham, McCain, and Burr pretty much fit the bill. Disgraceful.