Rand Paul Threatens Filibuster of Defense Bill To Release Potential Terrorists [UPDATE: Paul Responds]
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is widely considered a potential candidate for president in 2016. That speculation was fueled last week by Paul’s statement on national television that he wouldn’t rule out running in 2016. But in order for Paul to win, he’ll have to disassociate from the positions of his father, a multiple-time failed presidential candidate.
If he hopes to do that, he’ll have to do better than he’s doing now with regard to the latest Defense authorization bill. He’s threatening to filibuster Defense funding unless he gets a vote on an amendment that would curtail indefinite detention of potential terrorists. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to allow an open amendment process to the Defense authorization bill.
Reid could have allowed a Defense authorization bill to pass before the November elections, but he was afraid that Republicans would use it as an opportunity to discuss the pending cuts to Defense mandated by the Democrat-pushed sequestration.
Update -- Sen. Rand Paul Responds:
I am not asking to release potential terrorists. I am asking that people accused of a crime in the United States be guaranteed a trial by jury. Beginning with the Magna Carta in 1215, the English-speaking people have proudly retained the right to trial by jury, even for those accused of heinous crimes such as rape, murder and, yes, terrorism. Seems a shame to give up on 800 years of due process.
The Department of Justice currently lists several attributes that might define you as a terrorist. Included among these characteristics are missing fingers, stains on your clothes, prefers to pay in cash, seven days of stored food in your house, and weatherized ammunition. If storing food or ammunition makes one a suspected terrorist, the list of suspects to be detained without trial by jury could be a long one.
Fusion centers have targeted as potential terrorists people who support third party candidates, oppose amnesty, and support pro-life causes. Am I the only one concerned that we retain the right to trial by jury?
My filibuster is not to release terrorists but to guarantee and protect what all Americans should cherish -- the right to a jury trial.