Score one for reactionary, sensationalist journalism. The outcry from the liberal media today has been absurd. Rand has never completely been against the usage of drones within the United States. Prohibiting this technology outright would be both unenforceable from a legal perspective as well as completely backwards technologically. Rand Paul’s opinion remains as it always has been, drones are not to be used for assassinations, particularly not within the borders of the United States. If drones are to be used for surveillance, that use should be accompanied with appropriate legal checks and balances, such a search warrant. Libertarians, Conservatives, and civil liberties advocates who may be leaning Rand Paul should not fret, a man who conducted a 13 hour filibuster on the Senate floor against the illegal use of drones will not have his opinions swayed so easily. ~LibertyNinja
Rand Paul‘s comments:
“Here’s the distinction: I have never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an act of crime going on,” Paul said on Fox Business Network. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him. But it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”
Paul launched a 13-hour filibuster in March after sending a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to clarify whether American citizens could be killed in drone strikes. “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,” he said.
“We should not be willy-nilly looking into everyone’s backyard at what they’re doing. If there is a killer on the loose in a neighborhood, I am not against drones being used to search them out, heat-seeking devices being used,” he told Fox Business.
Sen. Paul Statement on Domestic Drone Use
Sen. Rand Paul released the following statement this evening following erroneous reports of a change in his position on the use of domestic drones.
“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.”