Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rand Paul Didn't Flip-Flop on Drones

Some people are getting their panties in a bunch about comments the Senator made on Fox Business in which he said drones could have been used against the Marathon bombers.  They claim this was a flip flop, though they clearly weren't listening to him during his filibuster.  Here is what he said:

There is no question what is imminent lethal force. Someone aiming a gun at you, a missile, a bomb, any of these things is imminent, and no one questions that. No one questions using lethal force to stop any kind of imminent attack. But we become a little bit worried when the President says imminent doesn't have to mean immediate. And when that happens and then when you see, from what we can tell from the unclassified portion of the drone attacks overseas, many of these people are not involved in combat.

It seems that a group of terrorists running around suburban Boston with explosives  and using them against both civilians and police counts as an imminent and immediate threat.  Hence, it falls under the definition of a situation where Rand Paul previously stated he would approve of the use of drones.  Seems pretty clear, no?  Just in case, Rand Paul did send out a statement yesterday pointing out that his drone position hasn't changed:

"My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed.

"Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.

"Additionally, surveillance drones should only be used with warrants and specific targets.

"Fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections. This was demonstrated last week in Boston.

As we all seek to prevent future tragedies, we must continue to bear this in mind."

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