Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rand Declares Victory; Will Grigg Says It's an Empty "Victory"

Rand Paul's office has issued the following statement:
Sen. Paul Reaches Victory Through Filibuster

Today, following a historic 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor that ended early this morning, Sen. Rand Paul received correspondence from the White House regarding the legality and constitutionality of the U.S. government using lethal force, including drone strikes, on Americans and in U.S. territory.  Sen. Paul’s repeated correspondence to President Obama’s nominee to be CIA director, John Brennan, was finally answered today, in part, with the following response from Attorney General Eric Holder: “’Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”

“This is a major victory for American civil liberties and ensures the protection of our basic Constitutional rights. We have Separation of Powers to protect our rights. That’s what government was organized to do and that’s what the Constitution was put in place to do,” Sen. Paul said. “I would like to congratulate my fellow colleagues in both the House and Senate and thank them for joining me in protecting the rights of due process.”

Here's Will Griggs on what has really gone down:

What Holder Really Said
It took a 13-hour filibuster from Senator Rand Paul to wring this terse statement from Attorney General Eric Holder:
“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: `Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Like all statements from people who presume to rule others, this brief message from Holder – – who is Nickolai Krylenko to Obama’s Josef Stalin – should be read in terms of the supposed authority claimed thereby. This means removing useless qualifiers in the interest of clarity.
What Holder is saying, in substantive terms, is that the President does have the supposed authority to use a drone to kill an American who is engaged in “combat,” whether here or abroad. "Combat" can consist of expressing support for Muslims mounting armed resistance against U.S. military aggression, which was the supposed crime committed by Anwar al-Awlaki, or sharing the surname and DNA of a known enemy of the state, which was the offense committed by Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdel. Under the rules of engagement used by the Obama Regime in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan, any “military-age” male found within a targeted “kill zone” is likewise designated a “combatant,” albeit usually after the fact. This is a murderous application of the "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy," and it will be used when -- not if -- Obama or a successor starts conducting domestic drone-killing operations.
Holder selected a carefully qualified question in order to justify a narrowly tailored answer that reserves an expansive claim of executive power to authorize summary executions by the president. That’s how totalitarians operate.

Actually, to the degree people hear Rand's declaration of "victory," but fail to appreciate Grigg's observations, the country is worse off, as more will now believe the possibility of a drone attack on an American has been ruled out. Not so. The concern has been diluted, while the threat continues.


  1. Ron Paul's "Audit the Fed" was also a hollow victory. It has changed nothing. This, however, is a process of education. I think it has opened some people's eyes just like "Audit the Fed." It's a process.

    I've hated on Rand as much as most of you. His actions here are at least partially honorable. While I agree you can criticize him for not going far enough here (the same could be said of Ron Paul's campaign). In the worst case, Rand's actions over the last two days were a noop. People don't suddenly feel better just from Eric Holder's response, and given that this was a lost cause, I can understand Rand dropping the active filibuster.

    One positive thing, though, is this provided some excitement to the R3voLution, and that's pretty valuable. You cannot keep people motivated if there is not at least the occasional "micro-victory" to pump them up.

  2. Precisely. Holder is speaking legalese. Its what he is NOT saying that should be heard. Grigg points this out.

    One notable item touted by Rand Paul supporters is a quote from the opening moments of his filibuster:

    "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."

    Its clear that Rand finds the killing of an American citizen on American soil acceptable so long as that citizen has been declared guilty in a court of law.

  3. When the people wake up to the fact the USSA is a police state, Will Grigg will be one of the most important voices of the r3VOLution.

    He is an amazing patriot, and his works will be important in exposing the evil at the heart of the beast.

  4. You're exactly right Bob. Will Grigg nailed my concerns right on the money.

  5. Obeservation: Keep in mind that Rand Paul has not even received the Holderletter yet when it was read to him in live-TV by Megan Kelly, thus he had ZERO time to reflect, unlike Will Grigg and others.

    Of course neither Ron nor Rand Paul would trust in their heart of hearts anything that the govt. promises. But the point is when a targeted drone strike in the US happens on someone that had no lethal instrument in his hands etc., Obama and Holder can be held accountable end should be impeached, based on their public statement. If Holder had not issued the second letter, he would have some wiggle room out.

    I think Rand is just really getting started with this debate, and it is by no way the end of it after 13 hours,plus the 30 days plus he has worked on this specifically. Just like he is nowhere finished with the fight against the NDAA, Patriot Act etc.