They've Already Done the "We'd Never Do this" Spiel
Tomorrow when Carney is asked he can claim that this is much ado about nothing because of course
the President would never use drones on Americans inside the US. Who
would ever suggest such a thing? That way they give a response but the
tone says move along, nothing to see here. They'll claim the President is a champion of civil rights and that these questions are misguided and maybe even offensive.
That was pretty much the opening line of the letter Eric Holder sent back to Rand Paul, which the Senator found so unsatisfactory.
“As members of this administration have previously indicated, the US
government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and
has no intention of doing so. As a policy matter moreover, we reject the
use of military force where well-established law enforcement
authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a
terrorist threat. We have a long history of using the criminal justice
system to incapacitate individuals located in our country who pose a
threat to the United States and its interests abroad. Hundreds of
individuals have been arrested and convicted of terrorism-related
offenses in our federal courts.”
“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical,
unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to
confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary
circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the
Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President
to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of
the United States.”
I think it was Pat Toomey (R-PA) who very disapprovingly read the letter on the Senate floor during the filibuster after first reading Rand Paul's very sincere and straightforward written request.
Which brings me to Lisa's point: I don't want to burst everyone's bubble...
"...as awesome as Sen. Paul and others are on the Senate floor are
right now, I can't help but think this is one of the moments when all
of us conservatives and libertarians are in our own bubble."
Lisa's concern that we are the only ones paying attention, or who cares, is well founded because that's usually the case.
But on this particular issue it's not just Republicans who are finding the administration's lack of candor and transparency disturbing. Paul is getting support from unexpected liberal, pop-culturish corners, too:
Jon Stewart voices support for Rand Paul filibuster: ‘Holy Howard Roark’s ghost’ [VIDEO]
“Rand Paul had sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking just
a simple question: Can the president use a drone to take out an
American citizen on U.S. soil?” Stewart continued. “You would think he
would get a letter back like, ‘No, way.’ Holder writes him back a letter
that never directingly addressing the question kind of, sort of implied
that hypothetically in the right — yes, yes, we can do that. We can do
that probably won’t, but yes. So, Sen. Rand Paul to draw attention to
the issue of the execution of executive executions executed the
classical old school filibuster. I mean he’s out there talking. This
isn’t one of those — he’s using the filibuster the way it’s meant to be