Rand is making his pop and Jimmy Stewart proud. John Brennan is a scumbag who will murder Americans with drones when ordered to do so. FUCK HIM!!!
Rand Paul begins talking filibuster against John Brennan
By Ed O’Keefe , Updated:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) began speaking just before noon Wednesday on the Senate floor in opposition to the nomination of John Brennan to lead the CIA, saying that he planned to speak “for the next few hours” in a rare talking filibuster.
Watch live video from the Senate floor below:
Paul, who strongly opposes the Brennan nomination and the Obama administration’s use of unmanned aerial drones, becomes the first senator to make use of the procedural tactic in more than two years and the first to do so since the Senate approved a bipartisan rules reform package in January.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said. “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.”
Paul began his filibuster at 11:47 a.m. Eastern time. Around the one-hour mark, he acknowledged “I can’t talk forever” and said his throat was getting dry.
At the start if the 1 p.m. hour, Paul was the only senator on the floor. Just 30 people watched from the Senate gallery above while a few security guards, stenographers and Senate pages held their appointed spots on the floor. In the rafters, a man responsible for operating the Senate television cameras was seen reading a newspaper.
At 2:57 p.m., after Paul had been talking for more than three hours, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined the filibuster and gave Paul a break. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined at 3:08 p.m. The three senators are now taking turns talking, with Lee and Cruz alternately asking Paul questions.
Paul’s comments from the Senate floor come as he’s raised objections in recent weeks. Paul first threatened to filibuster the Brennan nomination in late February, when he sent a letter to administration officials asking whether the U.S. government would ever use a drone strike to kill an American on U.S. soil.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. responded to Paul’s inquiry Monday, saying the administration has “no intention” of carrying out drone strikes on suspected terrorists in the United States, but could use them in response to “an extraordinary circumstance” such as a major terrorist attack.
Paul called Holder’s refusal to rule out drone strikes within the United States “more than frightening.”
On Wednesday, Paul elaborated on his concerns: “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.’ The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that.”
Paul noted that he has voted for Obama’s previous Cabinet nominees, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and suggested his cause was not partisan.
“I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees,” Paul said. “But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution. I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say that he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking a country.
“I would be here if it were a Republican president doing this. Really the great irony of this is that President Obama’s opinion on this is an extension of George Bush’s opinion.”
Paul also said that he was “alarmed” at the lack of definition over who can be targeted by drone strikes. He suggested that many college campuses in the 1960s were full of people who might have been considered enemies of the state.
“Are you going to drop … a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?” Paul asked.
By the 2 p.m. hour, Paul said he would continue to speak as long as he can, but he admitted: “Ultimately, I can’t win. There’s not enough votes.”
Brennan has gained the support of some Republican senators, even as others want to hold up his nomination in hopes of getting more answers from the White House on the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. His nomination easily cleared the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, suggesting he would have the 60 votes required to end Paul’s filibuster and bring the nomination to a vote.
Any senator can opt to hold the floor to speak on any matter, but the practice of speaking for hours on end is rare, especially in the modern-day Senate where the chamber’s rules are used more often to block legislation or to hold show votes on trivial matters.
Paul’s talking filibuster is the first conducted by a senator since December 2010, when Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) held the Senate floor for more than eight hours in opposition to Obama’s proposed tax-cut plan.
The longest filibuster in the Senate was Sen. Strom Thurmond’s (D-S.C.) 24-hour filibuster against the 1957 Civil Rights Act (Thurmond later became a Republican). Two other senators — Sens. Alphonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) and Wayne Morse (I-Ore.) — have also filibustered for more than 20 hours.