Mar 7, 2013 No Comments ›› Jake Hammer
Excerpted from WASHINGTON TIMES: Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday his 13-hour filibuster was a success after Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sent a letter saying the Obama administration does not think it is legal to use drones to kill non-combatant Americans on U.S. soil.
Mr. Paul, along with more than a dozen Republican colleagues, filibustered and demanded assurances on the drone program before they would agree to a vote on the nomination of John O. Brennan, whom Mr. Obama had picked to be the new CIA director.
Hours after the letter was sent, the Senate did indeed vote to confirm Mr. Brennan, 63-34.
“It has taken awhile but we got an explicit answer,” Mr. Paul said after receiving the letter. “I think the entire battle was worthwhile.”
In his letter, Mr. Holder gave the kind of flat assurance Mr. Paul had sought.
“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,” Mr. Holder wrote.
The filibuster, which captured the attention of the political world and boosted Mr. Paul’s profile, also exposed a deep division within the Republican Party.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said Mr. Paul didn’t deserve an answer to his question, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said the filibuster did a “disservice” to the drone debate.