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No, Rand Paul Didn’t Just Switch His Position on Drones

In relation to the Boston Marathon bombings, Sen. Rand Paul told [1] Fox Business today that, “If there is a killer on the loose in a neighborhood, I’m not against drones being used to search them.” He went on:

“Here’s the distinction — I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat an act of crime going on,” Paul said. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”

Civil libertarians are flipping out claiming Paul has reconciled himself with an omnipotent police state and forgotten all about his 13-hour filibuster, the aim of which was to clarify that the government did not have the authority to unilaterally kill American citizens. Matt Wilstein at Mediaite claims [2] his statements “directly contradict” it, writing, “by indicating he would have made the call to kill the suspect with drone if he’d had the chance, Paul seems to have betrayed the principles of his filibuster.” He indicated no such thing.

To be fair, Paul wasn’t as clear as he should have been. It seems like he’s trying to describe a firefight in which the cops are forced to neutralize a thief robbing a liquor store, but the way he actually describes it sounds far more innocuous; he doesn’t mention the thief posing any threat. Jim Bovard takes him at his word [3], saying Paul “endorses using drones to kill suspected liquor store robbers.” But does anyone actually believe he’s endorsing the use of a hellfire missile to take out a thief that presents no threat? If he thought that was OK, do you think he might have allowed for it in the bill [4] he introduced banning domestic drone strikes?

Bovard is right that there are problems with the ever-broadening definition of what constitutes an “imminent threat.” But the important thing to remember here is that any politician is unlikely to unequivocally oppose law enforcement techniques that would allow officers to do their jobs out of harm’s way, up to and including using robots to kill criminals. It seems like a lot of libertarians are opposed to any drone use by law enforcement. While I can’t fault them on principle, it seems like an untenable position politically, and anyway that ship has sailed [5].

The senator has always been open to the idea of drones being used, with a warrant, in the process of a police investigation. And, as a practical matter, if that could have meant, say, a hundred fewer Boston doors knocked on by SWAT teams, isn’t that a net victory for civil liberties? The bit about armed drones, “I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him,” is a tad more strongly worded than prior statements but by no means new. Last summer he responded to a question about armed drones this way [6]:

Costello: What about in this instance? One Texas sheriff told reporters his agency is considering arming his drones with rubber bullets and tear gas. Let’s say there’s a large crowd gathering and you need some crowd control. This type of drone might be able to diminish any problems on the ground. Would that be allowed under your bill?

Paul: Anything that would require a warrant. It would have to have a warrant. And I’m concerned about obviously arming drones. But I don’t want to say that I’m arguing against technology. For example, there’s a bomb in a car, I’m very happy that we have automated robots that can go up to the car and investigate the bomb and we don’t have to risk a human. Same with drones. If they can save lives, that’d be one thing. Arming drones obviously sends up pictures of the military and I don’t think domestically armed drones are a good idea. What I would say is that drones could be used if you have a proper warrant. But that means you go through a judge.

For better or worse, the senator has been consistent in his thinking.

Update: Senator Paul has released a statement saying his “comments [7] last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed.”

Here’s the rest [8]:

“Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.

“Additionally, surveillance drones should only be used with warrants and specific targets.

“Fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections. This was demonstrated last week in Boston. As we all seek to prevent future tragedies, we must continue to bear this in mind.”

Follow @j_arthur_bloom [9]

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Comments Disabled To "No, Rand Paul Didn’t Just Switch His Position on Drones"

#1 Comment By Allen On April 23, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

Rand Paul: “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him. But it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.” Isn’t it simpler to think he’s just inconsistent?

#2 Comment By Jim Bovard On April 23, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

Is there a better or fairer standard to gauge a politician than by his own words?

#3 Comment By tz On April 23, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

It is easier to think that given a 30 second or less sound-bite or being asked hypothetical questions where you have to respond instantly, nuance can be lost.

Bovard and the rest can compose their text post analyses at leisure and insure the words can be carefully chosen and nuanced and very precise. Would they do as well in a media ambush or where they have a second to respond to a question where the context wasn’t even given?

#4 Comment By Jim Bovard On April 23, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

And how would conservatives react if Eric Holder suggested using drones to smite suspected liquor store robbers?

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On April 23, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

Is anyone else laughing at the prospect of .60 cal. tracer rounds zipping through the night air in an urban nieghborhood . . .

and by laughter, I mean cynical laughter.

#6 Comment By collin On April 23, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

I am sorry to but I am becoming disillusioned that the Rand Paul filibuster was simply a photo op Obummer whack job. He losing his libertarian credentials everyday now. And top of that he seemed very comfortable with a drone simply shooting a liquor store robbers.

I find it funny that he mentioned the EPA drones flying over farms. In reality, farmers are screaming to use drones to monitor their fields and don’t want to wait until the FAA comes up with the drone rules in 2015. I still believe that in 10 – 15 years drones will be delivering your pizzas.

#7 Comment By Jason On April 23, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

Are you people serious?

A police officer at the scene of a crime, if the situation calls for it, is allowed to use deadly force. A cop is perfectly justified to take the life of a criminal who’s shooting at him or at others.

Rand Paul is merely saying that in such a situation the use of a drone to kill such a criminal is equally acceptable. There is no real difference between a cop shooting and killing a criminal with a shotgun VS that criminal being shot and killed with a drone.

It seems to me that people have gone berserk over the mere use of drones. Drones, like any other tool, are not innately evil. They are just a tool, it’s all about how they are used.

#8 Comment By Jim Bovard On April 23, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

I see on Facebook that Jack Hunter stated that Rand Paul “might have misspoke” on drones. If Sen. Paul issues a retraction or clarification, let me know and I will add that to my blog and other comments on this subject.

#9 Comment By Eric On April 23, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

Yea, some elaboration could have been useful there, but it seems pretty clear that he’s referring to a standoff or shootout such as what just happened in Boston, given the context.

If there is an active shooter (possibly having just robbed a liquor store?) in a neighborhood, there is no fundamental difference between having a SWAT team sharpshooter take them out versus a drone. At that point it is just an increase in the firepower law enforcement can bring to situations where they already have the legal authority to kill the criminal in question.

#10 Comment By Philip Giraldi On April 23, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

Jason, get serious yourself. A cop can make an educated judgment on whether or not to use lethal force and he can do it in a split second. A drone cannot.

#11 Comment By Joseph R. Stromberg On April 23, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

Well where would he stand on a drone that was immoral in itself; say, a drone powered by human stem cells and carrying its own cluster bombs?

Just a thought.

I think there’s too much thoughtless g.d. lawn ordure in the GOP.

#12 Comment By Rick Hanson On April 23, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

“But the important thing to remember here is that any politician is unlikely to unequivocally oppose law enforcement techniques that would allow officers to do their jobs out of harm’s way, up to and including using robots to kill criminals.”

Criminality is determined by a court of law, not an enforcement officer on the street. But leaving that point aside, I rather have a cop at the scene, observing criminal behavior which gives him evidence of probable cause, and then wielding force (if he has to, under the Law), rather than have some cog-in-the-machine joystick jockey miles away, hopped up on Cheetos and Jolt Cola, getting fed “information” by a computer system, not knowing what its ultimate source was, applying extreme standoff deadly force. The risk is way too high for the people, in comparison to having the officer be safer, as you suggest. And it’s not credible to believe that drones will only be used under warrant from a court, as the current applications of force (drone and non-drone) show.

“It seems like a lot of libertarians are opposed to any drone use by law enforcement. While I can’t fault them on principle, it seems like an untenable position, and anyway that ship has sailed.”

So, when the government in essence said, for instance, that the ship of habeas corpus has sailed, that was OK by you? Really? In your book, it’s the job of the “citizen” just to sit idly by and take that? I believe that’s a bad policy for the people to abide by.

You are right to say that Rand’s mistake was not making himself more clear in his expression of his position. However, you also give unjustifiable short shift to Bovard’s observation that Paul is falling into a semantic trap with this use of the term “imminent threat.”

#13 Comment By The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit On April 23, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

Wait … an “active shooter?” As opposed to, what, a more sedentary version?

Am I the only person left in America who’s concerned about how “exciting” the language of law enforcement is becoming? But let’s be honest – a guy coming out of a liquor store with fifty bucks and a gun, unless he’s coming out shooting, is not an “active shooter.”

Centuries of Anglo-American jurisprudence considered that deadly force was only an acceptable response to an imminent threat to life or limb (though there was a period when “property” was included). A robber running out of a liquor store with his ill-gotten gains in hand is simply no longer an imminent threat. Were he apprehended at that point, there is no way he would be subject to capital punishment.

Thus, to suggest that it’s okay to kill him with a drone is ludicrous, goes against centuries of history, and is nothing more than typical police state tactics of “execution, THEN verdict.” With the “verdict” being nothing more than whatever spin is applied by the complaisant media lickspittles.*

*there’s a word you don’t get to use every day … and my spellchecker doesn’t even recognize it!

#14 Comment By Jon B On April 23, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

It seems to me like the real story is that Rand Paul’s position is 100% consistent with that of the Obama administration and it always has been. The filibuster was the joke – not the Fox Business quote.

#15 Comment By Leela On April 23, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

As a Ron Paul supporter, Rand has never really impressed me (unless compared to the “average” politician). However, his “stance” on civil liberties DID get me a little “stand with Rand”-ish, especially during and after the filibuster. Without some clarification, though, to liquor store robber, I’m a little sour on him for now. Hostage at gunpoint or gun pointed AT someone? Sure, I guess; send a drone…but rob a store and ultimately die, regardless of actual harm? No–just no; not by a human or drone.

#16 Comment By vandelay On April 23, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

Rand was jumbled in his thinking here. This wasn’t entirely consistent with his past statements and positions. He’s had to correct his statements in the past and I think this is another case of that. He’s still basically the best of the worst candidates for 2016, in that he’s entirely unique in some of his stated positions in the GOP, but that he doesn’t seem nearly as indivisible from his principles as his father is.

#17 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 23, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

There’s a difference–one that was lost during the debate on the initial filibuster, and one that gets lost otherwise, in legitimate law enforcement use of deadly force (to take out someone who is actively harming or threatening to harm someone else, or who otherwise poses an imminent threat to public safety), and assassination.

I think we’re all agreed that assassination has no place in domestic law enforcement.

Now as to the technology employed: I think we can also all agree that Hellfire missiles, 60-caliber rounds, and other military weaponry, have little place in domestic law enforcement. (Even the toys that SWAT teams get to play with under current rules, strike me as a bit much in many circumstances).

What though, of a drone armed with conventional police rounds–the sort of stuff that can easily kill people but won’t blow large holes in things? Is there a difference between a drone (with a human operator who is a sworn officer) firing a 9mm or .308 round, and a live cop on the scene doing it? What of a drone on autopilot?

Would use of an armed drone over the boat that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in been appropriate?

#18 Comment By Brian On April 23, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

” “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him”

does not say if a guy comes out shooting at people. He is basically saying it’s ok to use deadly force before putting someone on trial…

#19 Comment By Aaron Dowden On April 23, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

You can do all the damage control you want, this is a major screw up and will be used to discredit him. Writers for Bill Maher have probably written 100 one-liners already.

#20 Comment By Robert On April 23, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

Paul is stating that if deadly force is required (as determined by on scene law enforcement) drones are one method. Nothing more, nothing less. By throwing yourself into a tizzy over the fact that Paul didn’t cover every aspect of the scenario it is you that looks foolish.

#21 Comment By bgib11 On April 23, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

Bottom Line to the American Conservatives in this country… Rand Paul is our last hope. There is no coherent argument otherwise. He is the only conservative in congress that will stand up to the corrupt administration that is in control. all the rest that do, do so because they follow after Rand. When he held his filibuster – Multiple Republican Members from both Senate and House showed to support him, as well as few democrats. There is no perfect candidate, but the worst thing you can do is sit back and watch our country burn. I Stand With Rand, because out of anyone in Washington, he represents his Constituency… Which is red blood Patriotic Americans. and for those of us left, he is all we have. I’m From Delaware, run by lefty commies… but relocating south or midwest to America by weeks end. join the movement to take America back.

#22 Comment By jamie On April 23, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

“Is there a better or fairer standard to gauge a politician than by his own words?”

Actions. Also, vote history, income sources, allies, friends, associations, qualifications and credentials, employers, health history, class, ethnic and family background, hobbies and extracurricular activities, marital status, sexual orientation, operative moral judgement… Actually quite a lot of things.

We’re judging people to elevate and lead us do deals for us and get us the best of a bad situation; we are not hiring a night clerk for the Amoco, where impeccable honesty and consistency might actually count. We expect responsible people to dissemble responsibly; rigid honesty and consistency is generally counterproductive and dangerous, particularly when the gig you’re hiring for is “professional negotiator.”

#23 Comment By Eric On April 23, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

@Lawhobbit

Yes, “active shooter” is the technical term for any suspect firing off his gun in a confined and/or populated area. I didn’t invent it, DHS did. Take it up with them.

I think the implication was clearly that the guy coming out of the liquor store would be firing on police officers attempting to apprehend them, given the context of the Boston suspects. If not, then clearly no amount of lethal force would be legal, drone or no drone. If so, then why does it matter if the suspect dies or is injured from a drone or a man on the ground? At that point, I would side with whatever weapons platform guaranteed more safety for police, so long as it wasn’t utilized before other options are exhausted.

#24 Comment By Ampersand On April 23, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

I personally don’t think that drones should be used within US borders at all, whether they’re for surveillance or anything else. This increasing militarization needs to stop.

#25 Comment By Rick On April 23, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

You do understand that there is no such thing as getting a warrant to kill someone-whether by a drone missile launch or a policeman’s gun. Senator Paul is remarkably confused on this and simply trying to have it all possible ways. I think if you read your own article, you will see that, in the effort to stand up for him, your own logic really fails badly. Does he want to create some special warrant procedure where a court can authorize the government to use drones to kill Americans? How does this square with his speech during his filibuster when he so intensely argued for the importance of a trial and due process rights? If he believes that some new warranting procedure should be created, wouldn’t he have mentioned this in the 13 hours he was speaking on the floor of the Senate? I mean, he certainly had time to lay out his full policy.
I get that you support him and that is just fine. But when you can’t call something for what it is-even when it might have some limited impact on someone you support-we all lose.

#26 Comment By Rick On April 23, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

You are additionally forgetting the genesis of Paul’s filibuster. He had asked the AG if there was ANY circumstance in which a drone strike would be permissible against an American on American soil. When Holder hedged and said there may be some undefined circumstances, that is precisely what set Paul off and led to the filibuster…a filibuster that ended when the AG sent a letter saying there were NO circumstances where he believed the government could do so. Nothing about warrants, technology or anything else. Paul wanted a statement that said there were no circumstances where our government should be permitted to do this – and he was right. Sometimes the people we support screw up. Why are you allowing yourself to be sucked into his dishonesty?

#27 Pingback By Rand Paul Endorses Using Drones to Kill Suspected Liquor Store Robbers | James BovardJames Bovard On April 23, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

[…] UPDATE: Jordan Bloom of the American Conservative wrote a brief piece mentioning this blog entry and seeking to vindicate Rand Paul.  There’s lively sparring in the comment section; several folks are making excellent points. Check it out here. […]

#28 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On April 23, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

@Philip Giraldi; yeah, maybe, but it’s safe to assume a “cop” is controlling the drone. but to the point, I would not be so bold as to claim to know what Rand Paul thinks; but it seems to me just as plausible (safe to assume) the person leaving the liquor store “with a weapon and $50 cash…” just purchased the weapon from the liquor store; for say; $450 – and he paid with 5 $100 bills; and he was simply counting his change. and let’s further assume the transaction was not legal in said jurisdiction; is Rand Paul suggesting the death penalty for those accused of bringing a firearm into an establishment licensed to sell alcohol?

#29 Pingback By Why Are Some People Freaking Out About Rand Paul and Drones? On April 23, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

[…] not enough. For a closer look at the Kentucky senator’s stance on drone strikes, we turn to the The American Conservative’s Jordan […]

#30 Comment By Clint On April 23, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

Rand Paul seems to have cleared things up today with his statement on this domestic drone issue.

[10]

#31 Pingback By Rand Paul Clarifies His Position on Drones After Making Waves With Fox Business Appearance – Hit & Run : Reason.com On April 23, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

[…] "Ron Paul fans furious over Rand Paul's drone flip-flop." While some folks came to Paul's defense, such as Jordan Bloom at The American Conservative, it would appear that the Drudge headline touched a nerve. At 9:50 p.m. […]

#32 Comment By Matt Nelson On April 23, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

What Rand said was stupid. Worse yet, even if meant to say that it’s OK for domestic drones to take out a criminal that is in the act of shooting innocents, it is still stupid because existing drone technology doesn’t work that way.

But the most disturbing thing about Rand’s recently-celebrated drone grandstanding is that, from square one, he has implicitly conceded that all drone strikes on U.S. citizens on foreign soil are OK. Indeed, his domestic-vs.-foreign drone-strike distinction has never made any sense to me. Either a drone strike on a citizen comports with due process or it doesn’t, regardless where the strike is carried out.

More and more, Rand is sounding like an pseudo-principled populist, not a consistently solid Old-Right Conservative. Though he may still be the best of a bad lot, he’s making it harder for this paleocon to get excited about him.

#33 Comment By Tom Blanton On April 23, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

Quoth the Great and Powerful Senator Rand Paul:

“I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”

Well, except for the liquor store exception. If one reads between the lines of the Federalist Papers, it will become obvious that the Wise Founding Fathers envisioned the need for the immediate execution of common men running out of liquor stores with weapons and $50 or more in their hand.

Common sense dictates that liquor store holdups would rip apart the fabric of society and must be dealt with in a special manner. It is obviously best to execute first and count the money in the hand of the liquor store robber later. We should all be thanking the Christian God that Rand Paul is speaking out to guide us on this fundamental issue of liquor store holdups as they relate to drone jurisprudence and the Constitution.

The next thing you know, the liberals will be claiming that liquor store robbers should be read their Miranda rights and then tried before a jury like ordinary criminals.

#34 Comment By William Dalton On April 24, 2013 @ 12:46 am

“If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”

Here is what is wrong with Rand Paul’s statement: If a policeman is pursuing an armed robber fleeing the scene of his crime he does not have warrant to shoot and kill that robber. He has warrant to stop and arrest the robber, and if the man resists arrest and uses his weapon to threaten the policeman or another, the police officer has warrant to use lethal force to stop the robber from firing his weapon. A drone can not stop and arrest a fleeing robber. It can either detect and lead police officers to find and confront the robber, which is appropriate, or it can shoot him down while on the run, which is illegal and immoral. It is conceivable that a weaponized drone, operated by a human actor observing the scene by camera, may be hovering over a confrontation between a police officer and a fleeing robber, and if the robber is shooting at the police officer or someone else, the person in charge of the drone can fire upon the culprit, just as could an officer on the scene. That is the bottom line – drones can be used to do only that which a living officer could do on the scene. But, since a drone is not a human being, it can not be used to fire upon a fleeing suspect who is not encountering and threatening a human being. It can’t be used for that purpose in Boston, and it can’t be used for that purpose in Pakistan or Yemen or any other place our government is doing precisely that.

Here is what is right about Rand Paul’s statement, which I think was the point he was seeking to make: Drones can not be used to fly over people’s property to collect information which human officers could not observe from the public right-of-way adjoining that property, unless a warrant has been issued by an impartial magistrate upon presentation to the magistrate of evidence sufficient to conclude there is probable cause to believe such surveillance will reveal evidence of criminal activity. It’s the same standard that is used to determine whether to issue a warrant to police officers to enter upon the property in person for the same purposes.

This is what the Bill of Rights demands of our government, for the protection of all who are in our country, and for the protection of all who may confront our government abroad.

#35 Comment By collin On April 24, 2013 @ 8:45 am

I know Rand Paul means well and it is nice to have a more libertarian Republican run for Prez but he is coming across as a libertarian George Buch, a good guy but not Presidential material.

#36 Comment By Old Whig On April 24, 2013 @ 10:19 am

People are giving way too much significance to sound bites.

How does he vote?

What legislation is he introducing?

O.W.

#37 Comment By Sean Scallon On April 24, 2013 @ 10:35 am

I don’t believe Rand is changing his position either but the example he used wasn’t very good one and left himself open to these kind of interpretations. One gets the impression he answers questions like this with the gears maddeningly turning, wondering if what he says will be pleasing to conservatives he perceives he needs to win the nomination and leaving himself vulnerable to libertarian and paleo backlash. If he has these kinds of problems in a simple interview what’s going to happen in 2016 during candidate forums and debates? If he can’t articulate clearly what he stands for and makes everything he says a political calculation then he’s not going to be a very good Presidential candidate.

#38 Comment By EliteCommInc. On April 24, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

“Would use of an armed drone over the boat that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in been appropriate?”

No. The primary goal is to arrest. I am more than a little disturbed how much of the assassination objevctive is now part of the criminal justice dialogue.

#39 Comment By EliteCommInc. On April 24, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

“I think the implication was clearly that the guy coming out of the liquor store would be firing on police officers attempting to apprehend them, given the context of the Boston suspects.”

There is nothing implied. And it is certainly not obvious.

#40 Comment By Paul On April 24, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

Or more simply stated:

“I changed my mind again, for the third time actually, in less than a month; all because my base was mad at me. I change that easy.”

#41 Comment By Froggy On April 24, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

Rands *new* position is mind-boggling. Would he endorse the police state using a RPG on a criminal? Grenades? We have all the “technology” we need to get bad guys and bad guys that shoot at us. It is called guns.

#42 Comment By the colonel On April 25, 2013 @ 8:02 am

You do understand that there is no such thing as getting a warrant to kill someone-whether by a drone missile launch or a policeman’s gun. Senator Paul is remarkably confused on this and simply trying to have it all possible ways. I think if you read your own article, you will see that, in the effort to stand up for him, your own logic really fails badly. Does he want to create some special warrant procedure where a court can authorize the government to use drones to kill Americans? How does this square with his speech during his filibuster when he so intensely argued for the importance of a trial and due process rights? If he believes that some new warranting procedure should be created, wouldn’t he have mentioned this in the 13 hours he was speaking on the floor of the Senate? I mean, he certainly had time to lay out his full policy.
I get that you support him and that is just fine. But when you can’t call something for what it is-even when it might have some limited impact on someone you support-we all lose.

i think Rick brings up a good point, about both Pauls. they seem long on the general principles but when pressed on the details they don’t really seem to know what they’re talking about.

it wouldn’t be that difficult to do the homework before stepping up to the microphone.

#43 Comment By DuncanD On April 25, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

Whoa, where did Sen Rand come up with that response? His clarifying statement did not clear up anything for me. Mr. Cavuto was talking about the amazing ability of drones [most likely actually a police helicopter in the Boston bomber case] to use thermal imaging when tracking and surveillance of criminals but his being worried about the abuse of the same technology on ordinary citizens. Sen. Rand’s response is to say that he has always supported the use of drone technology, including using ARMED drones to KILL a person coming out of a liquor store with a gun in one hand and $50 in the other! His words, his example. No one forced him to go down that path. As an U.S. Senator and a supposed libertarian to boot, his position should be ZERO armed drones flying over U.S. soil, period.

#44 Comment By Franklin Paisley On April 26, 2013 @ 11:58 am

Yes, Rand Paul did change his position on drones, then changed it back. If Bloom is concerned about his credibility, I would recommend getting out of the defending Rand Paul business. If you need an article this long to try to explain what Paul really, sorta, kinda, meant, you are in trouble.

#45 Pingback By Monday Morning Reading | Pileus On April 29, 2013 @ 9:33 am

[…] 3.  On Rand Paul’s alleged 180 on drones.  […]

#46 Comment By Nicolas On April 30, 2013 @ 12:31 am

Sen. Paul seems to have a disturbing propensity to misspeak.

#47 Pingback By Rand Paul Learns to Love the Drug War? | The American Conservative On May 13, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

[…] any other Republican president”) and my Facebook feed are any indication. Just like the flap over his position on drones, the outrage seems to be over a less elegant statement of the same […]

#48 Pingback By Michael Lind Takes on the Cartoon Libertarians | The American Conservative On June 12, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

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