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« WATCH: Cop Fired After Illegal Search Video Goes Viral | Main | Lanny Breuer Gets Testy With ABC's Brian Ross Over HSBC »

WATCH LIVE: Historic Senate Filibuster Over Obama's Assassination Policy

Rand Paul's epic filibuster over civil liberties, Obama's kill list, drone strikes.

'I will speak until I can no longer speak.  Are you going to drop a hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?  Are you going to drop a missile on Kent State?'

Sen. Rand Paul launches into an old-school filibuster in an attempt to block the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director over concerns related to Obama's drone policy and his authority to assassinate Americans on U.S. soil.  Paul was joined by Senators Marco Rubio, Ron Wyden (the lone Democrat), Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Pat Toomey.

UPDATE - Paul ends Senate filibuster after nearly 13 hours...


More Highlights

'Like a modern Mr. Smith goes to Washington.'

Sen. Ted Cruz to Rand Paul during today's filibuster: "My only regret is that there are not 99 of your colleagues here today standing with you in defense of the most fundamental principle in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution."



Cruz reads Victory or Death letter from the Alamo.

During today's 'Obama assassination policy' filibuster.



Holder Tells Senate It's Legal For Drones To Kill U.S. Citizens On U.S. Soil



Filibuster Summary


"I will speak until I can no longer speak," Paul said. "I cannot sit quietly and let [the President] shred the Constitution." 

Paul began speaking just before noon, becoming the first Senator to use the "talking filibuster" in more than two years.  He was joined several of his Senate colleagues around the three-hour mark, and the group had grown to eight by the sixth hour of the filibuster.

Paul's marathon remarks have focused on violations of civil liberties under the Obama administration, and particularly on a letter sent by Attorney General Eric Holder this week, which claimed that the President has the legal authority to use military force against American citizens on U.S. soil. 

When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding an unequivocal, ‘No," Paul said Wednesday. "The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that." 

Later, Paul warned about the ambiguity over who could be targeted by drones, suggesting that they could have been used during 1960s campus protests. 

"Are you going to just drop a hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?" Paul asked. "Are you going to drop a missile on Kent State?"

After more than three hours at podium, Paul was relieved by Utah Republican Mike Lee and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. 

"You're standing here like a modern-day 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,'" Cruz told Paul admiringly. "You must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile."

The trio was joined soon after by Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, chairman of the NRSC, and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, a vocal opponent of Obama's drone program. 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, another GOP darling, joined the filibuster briefly around the five-hour mark.  Taking the floor, Rubio joked to Paul: "Let me give you some advice — keep some water nearby."

After six hours, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid interrupted the filibuster to try to get a cloture vote on Brennan's confirmation.  "I think the rest of the body needs to know if we're going to finish tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day," Reid told Paul. 

But the Kentucky Republican dug in, telling Reid he would only end the filibuster if Obama or Holder clarify their position on killing Americans in the U.S.   "I'm not in the position to talk to the Attorney General," Reid replied, visibly irritated. "Everyone should plan on coming tomorrow. We're through for the night."

The matter thus resolved, Paul turned back to his filibuster, welcoming Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to the floor. 

While other Senators can take the podium to ask questions, Paul is not allowed to leave the floor during the filibuster.



Holder says Obama plans to explain drone policy - Wash Po

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told a Senate committee Wednesday that he expects President Obama to explain the legal rationale underpinning the use of armed drones to target and kill U.S. citizens overseas.  Obama said in his State of the Union speech last month that he would be more transparent about the targeted killing program, and Holder said the administration is struggling with the need to fulfill that pledge.


Rand Paul's Letter To John Brennan About Drone Killings In The U.S.

Eric Holder's Letter To Rand Paul In Response



Holder Tells Senate It's Legal For Drones To Kill U.S. Citizens On U.S. Soil



Let's just say Paul's efforts aren't going unnoticed.


Related links:

FAA Releases New Drone List - Is Your Town On The Map?

Original NYT Kill List Article That Sparked The Outrage

Obama Killed A 16-Year-Old American And Didn't Say Anything About It

Kill List Memo Exposes Democrats As Unprincipled Hacks (Glenn Greenwald)


John Brennan Says High Mass

The man whom the administration has put up to head the CIA would not say whether or not the president of the United States has the power to order the extrajudicial killing of a United States citizen within the borders of the United States.  And the hearing, remarkably, went on as though nothing untoward had happened.


Obama's Rules For Assassinating U.S. Citizens


Why Charlottesville Is The First City To Outlaw Drones



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Reader Comments (17)

Rand Paul's Epic Mr. Smith-Style Filibuster Derails Brennan Confirmation (For Now)

Mar 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Eric Holder: Drone Strike To Kill U.S. Citizen On American Soil Is Legal


Over 23,000 comments from readers...
Mar 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Why Charlottesville Is The First U.S. City To Outlaw Drones

Mar 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Take it slow on Maine drone law


Drones are coming, and Maine needs to be ready. That’s the premise of LD 236, “An Act to Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Vehicle Use,” a bill sponsored by Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford. The one-year moratorium would protect Mainers’ privacy rights from the rush of surveillance technology, while allowing adequate time to explore fully the legal implications of public and private drone surveillance.
Mar 6, 2013 at 6:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
"The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorise the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland," Mr Holder said.

Mar 6, 2013 at 7:20 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Rand Paul vows to speak 'as long as it takes' to block Brennan

Mar 6, 2013 at 7:20 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The Kentucky lawmaker conceded that terrorism presents a complicated national security issue.”There was a man named Awlaki,” Paul noted. “He was treasonous. I have no sympathy for his death. I still would have tried him in a federal court for treason and he could have been executed.”

Mar 6, 2013 at 7:24 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
List of Longest Filibusters in American History

Mar 6, 2013 at 8:43 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Good Job Rand.

Meanwhile in Southwest Ohio, the Cincinnati Police Chief is seeking to toughen Ohio gun laws...

Ohio already has tougher laws than Indiana and Kentucky, and coincidently we also have a former Lehman Brothers Governor with two NRA F's on his resume.
Mar 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Glenn Greenwald has been on fire calling out the hypocrisy of other "progressives" for cheerleading drone strikes merely because their Lord and Savior Barack Obama is carrying them out, rather than Bush.


It is beyond astonishing that Greenwald's immunity to the mental infection of the red-blue puppet show is so rare. The implications are actually terrifying.
Mar 7, 2013 at 11:48 AM | Registered CommenterCheyenne
What shocks me is the 2 biggest GOP traitors in history....Graham and McCain opposed this fillibuster
How could anyone with a brain vote for those 2 scumbags?
Mar 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhonda Reichel
Rand Paul "The Laws of War Don't Apply To The United States, The Bill of Rights Does"

Mar 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Mar 8, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blasted fellow GOP Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday, saying the two “think the whole world is a battlefield.”

Mar 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Your dealing with a lawyer Sen. Paul. You just got diddled and don't even realize it.

Mar 8, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush

Great find. I had the same thought when I read Holder's one-sentence letter. 'Engaging in combat' can be defined in very broad terms.


Holder selected a carefully qualified question in order to justify a narrowly tailored answer that reserves an expansive claim of executive power to authorize summary executions by the president. That’s how totalitarians operate.
Mar 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

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