Then from the seats of complacency, a lone figure rose.
It’s not exactly leading a charge onto the beaches of Normandy. In fact, it’s probably more akin to charging down a hallway chasing a platoon of stormtroopers, with nothing but a laser pistol and audacity on your side. But Rand Paul’s decision to singlehandedly block John Brennan’s nomination to be the CIA’s new director is pretty impressive nonetheless.
The Senate Intelligence Committee approved Brennan’s nomination on Tuesday 12-3, despite the many misgivings about the man’s fitness for the job, so Paul’s filibuster is probably doomed unless he can somehow inspire the 41 votes he needs to prevent a cloture vote.
All the more reason to pay attention to what Paul’s doing.
“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA, ” Paul said at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. “I will speak until I can no longer speak.”
But the filibuster isn’t really just about Brennan. Paul is holding the nomination hostage until President Obama comes out and states that the United States will not use its military drones to murder Americans.
The issue arose when the Administration killed American terror suspects in the Middle East with a missile launched from one of our flying killer robots, ignoring the Constitution’s guarantees of due process.
Paul asked Attorney General Eric Holder if the Administration’s drone policy would allow the president to order a drone attack on Americans on U.S. soil. Holder tried to couch his answer in platitudes, but his letter to Paul answered in the affirmative.
That apparently lit Paul’s fuse and led to him demanding an answer about the Administration’s real policy, an answer the entire Senate should be demanding.
“All I’m asking of the president is that he says in public that he’s not in favor of summarily executing people,” Paul said at one point.
At this writing, the Paul filibuster is still going.