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As Long as We Remember...

March 11, 2013

Droning on about Rand Paulís Filibuster

Steven R. Berryman

Interestingly, it seems that American laws, such as due process and a “right to life” (along with liberty and happiness) that we claim are unalienable inside our national borders, do not work in regards to overseas drone strikes on our own citizens.


Witness the government sanctioned splattering of Anwar al-Awlaki, supping at his last café. Yes, yes, he was an enemy of the state and a traitor, but he was an American citizen.


Concurrently, we hypocritical Americans allow illegal immigrants (who, by definition, are not citizens of the United States and presumably broke in) are handed our rights, protection under law, our freedoms, our charity, our schools and medicine; but now thanks to Senator Rand “stand with Rand” Paul, will not have to worry about assassination by drone!


Thanks to the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” style filibuster last Wednesday, we now have formal written confirmation of this from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama.


The filibuster is over and its immediate aftermath finally allowed for the swearing in of John Brennan to lead the CIA, which holds a military component controlling drones. Mr. Brennan, again interestingly, was sworn in on an antique draft Constitution – at his own request – that did not include a Bill of Rights!


Now, thanks to an 1878 law enacted at the end of the Reconstruction period called the Posse Comitatus Act, federal military forces cannot be garrisoned for use in-country, on American soil; so in theory, no CIA “hits” can happen inside our nation’s borders.


The fears expressed by Kentucky’s junior Sen. Rand Paul in 13 hours of monologue were that another branch of post-911s Department of Homeland Security (now operating under one umbrella for reasons of enhanced coordination and communication) the FBI could potentially, maybe, might conduct fatal operations in America under some foreseen circumstance, not defined.


Well, Senator Paul certainly seemed to have bottom-lined that one for posterity, while simultaneously confirming himself a major leader of his own Republican Party. His association with the re-emerging “Tea Party” certainly allowed for the consternation of some.


We know this simply by the rudeness exhibited afterward by old bulls like Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who pronounced him a wing-nut for his filibuster. This jealousy certainly enhanced the wedge between the old-guard GOP and the Libertarian faction within.


I, for one, witnessed almost all of the filibustered proceedings of the Senate via C-Span2 that not-so-snowy Wednesday during a fortunately placed day off from work. Channel surfing again proved its random value to me, as I was not primed ahead of time for this epic government-shaking event.


Rand Paul was supported by purposely long-winded “questions” by patriots of many stripes, including confirmed moderates and even a Democrat. There was a “we’re taking it back” spirit. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who was recovering from a stroke, smuggled a thermos of hot tea and an apple in to satiate Senator Paul; this was allowed, despite being a breakage of floor rules.


For the fifth day now, I have been reveling in the reclamation of my own patriotic zeal for a recovery of intestinal fortitude in American politics. Rand Paul, son of Ron, has now emerged as a voice for those unsure of the course of our nation-under-siege by so many forces of change.


In other nations, at other times, under intense economic pressures, unemployment, and fiscal distress, people’s enumerated rights and protections became ignored with disastrous result.


Rand Paul shouted out until his voice gave out that this shall not happen on his watch.


And now America is captivated… and is now watching him. And this is just the beginning…


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