On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he would filibuster the nomination of John Brennan as the director of the CIA. He cited issues with President Barack Obama’s policy on civil liberties.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said.
He discussed the abuses of executive power and civil liberties under the current administration. He said he is not happy with the letter he received from Attorney General Eric Holder that claims the government can legally kill a U.S. citizen on United States soil.
“Where is the Barack Obama of 2007?” he asked. “If there were an ounce of courage in this body, I would be joined by many other senators,” he added. “Are we going to give up our rights to politicians?”
Holder sent a letter to Paul that said, “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.”
On Wednesday, Paul continued with, “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. The president says, ‘I haven’t killed anyone yet.’ He goes on to say, ‘And I have no intention of killing Americans. But I might.’ Is that enough? Are we satisfied by that?”
The filibuster began close to noon on Wednesday. “I will not sit quietly and let him shred the constitution,” Paul said of Obama.
“To be bombed in your sleep? There’s nothing American about that,” Paul said. “There’s nothing constitutional about that.”
“The problem is as this war has dragged on, they take that authorization of use of force to mean pretty much anything, and so they have now said that the war has no geographic limitations,” he said. “So it’s really not a war in Afghanistan, it’s a war in Yemen, Somalia, Mali. It’s a war in unlimited places.”
Others who joined the filibuster include Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
At the end of the filibuster, Paul said, “I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond’s record but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, everything hurts right now.”