“The answer is no”–for now

March 9th, 2013

But just wait til nobody is looking again.

It’s happened so quickly — under both Republicans and Democrats — that we’ve grown numb to freedom lost. We’ve accepted cameras watching us on our streets and the airport guards eager to pat our private areas. And now there are flying robots in the skies that watch and kill.

But Paul said no. That must have sent an uneasy tingle up the president’s leg. Because he changed course.

For weeks now, Obama’s government had insisted he had the right to use drones and kill Americans without trial. Obama’s drone-protecting grand vizier, Attorney General Eric Holder, made a fool of himself defending the idea.

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, fixed Holder like a bug on a board. He asked Holder in committee if the Constitution allowed for killing Americans suspected of terrorism, even if they were merely sitting quietly in a cafe.

Holder kept weaseling, saying it wouldn’t be appropriate. But Cruz didn’t care whether it was appropriate. Cruz demanded to know if it was constitutional. Holder broke.

“Translate my ‘appropriate’ to ‘no,'” Holder sighed. “I thought I was saying ‘no.’ All right? ‘No.'”

On Thursday, the president had Holder write Paul a letter of surrender.

“Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” wrote Holder to Paul. “The answer to that question is no.”

The answer is “no”? Why did it take weeks for the White House to figure that one out?

Because it’s not what they really believe, and it’s not the principle they intend to adhere to. They intend to circumvent it via manipulation and skullduggery, and if that fails, to just blithely ignore it. They didn’t “figure that one out”; they figured out that they’d stepped in it this time, and needed to backtrack a bit temporarily until the furor died down. Then they’ll get back to the business they were about.

Now, back to sleep with you, Wingnutz!™

Update! Paul says it:

The outpouring of support for my filibuster has been overwhelming and heartening. My office has fielded thousands of calls. Millions have followed this debate on TV, Twitter and Facebook. On Thursday, the White House produced another letter explaining its position on drone strikes. But the administration took too long, and parsed too many words and phrases, to instill confidence in its willingness or ability to protect our liberty.

And the regime has taken too many actions contradicting same to instill confidence in its having any interest in doing so.

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