Worried about an Attorney General who defends the idea that the President has the authority to kill an American citizen with a drone — no trial, just “boom”?
Uncertain about whether this involves an invasion of your civil rights?
Concerned that the President has the unchallenged and unchallengeable power — if you’re dead — to decide whether you are an enemy combatant?
Bothered by the Constitutional implications of such a policy?
Well, then, you’re clearly not Senator McCain or Senator Graham.
Senator McCain said that Senator Rand Paul did the nation a “disservice” with his 13-hour filibuster against domestic killer drones.
He said that it is silly to imagine that the President would have used a drone on Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War.
Question: Could Nixon have done it, if the technology had existed? Could anyone in authority have stopped him from doing it? Would he have been impeached if he had done it?
I can imagine Nixon’s national television appearance after Fonda’s death. He would have assured the nation: “The drone attack was aimed at an anti-aircraft installation.”
The cameras would then have focused on the photograph of Miss Fonda, sitting with members of the anti-aircraft crew.
He would have continued: “It is unfortunate that Miss Fonda was nearby. The senior officers in charge of the drone strike had no idea. This was collateral damage. The government will give $10,000 to Henry Fonda as a token of our sympathy.”
You think he would not have gotten away with this?
You think he would not have been praised in private by the tens of millions of Nixon-lovers of the pre-Watergate era? “Serves her right!”
Senator McCain was shocked — shocked! — that Senator Paul suggested such a possibility. He said this.
“I watched some of that, quote, debate, unquote, yesterday. I saw colleagues who know better come to the floor and voice some of this same concern, which is totally unfounded.
“I must say that the use of Jane Fonda’s name does evoke certain memories with me, and I must say that she is not my favorite American. But I also believe that, as odious as it was, Ms. Fonda acted within her constitutional rights, and to somehow say that someone who disagrees with American policy — and even may demonstrate against it — is somehow a member of an organization which makes that individual an enemy combatant is simply false,” McCain said, hitting his lectern for emphasis. “It is simply false.”
There is an old strategic rule of warfare that McCain is conveniently ignoring. It also applies to Constitutional law. “Make your plans in terms of what the enemy can do, not what you think he might do.”
Graham was quoted by the New York Times
Mr. Graham said he did not remember Republican critics attacking President George W. Bush for employing drone strikes, and he said the question for Republicans was, “What are we up to here?”
I will tell you what “we” are up to here. We are up to here with the destruction of our Constitutional liberties in the name of the war on terror, a war which we cannot win because there are no identifiable enemies that can or will surrender.
After the filibuster, Attorney General Holder sent a terse note to Paul admitting that the President does not possess the right to use drones to kill Americans inside the nation’s borders. In short, Paul had forced Holder’s hand. The publicity his filibuster got could not be resisted. Holder ate a plate full of crow.
Senators Dumb and Dumber now appear in retrospect just as dumb as they really are.