Senator Rand Paul Consistent in Drone Policy Position

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Senator Rand Paul Consistent in Drone Policy Position

Despite recent reports, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is consistent in his defense of due process and the justifiable use of drones in law enforcement.


Several media outlets are reporting that many conservatives who just weeks ago were proud to “Stand with Rand” are now jumping off the Kentucky senator's bandwagon.

A simple Google search reveals the scope of the situation: Thousands of articles from hundreds of sources ranging from communists to constitutionalists are reporting that Rand Paul has changed his mind and has embraced the use of drones to kill people suspected of committing crimes.

John Hudson, writing for Foreign Policy online, describes the purported mass defection of libertarians from the camp of Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Ron Paul's vibrant fan base is in open rebellion today over Rand Paul's reversal on domestic drone strikes. The Kentucky senator, whose famous 13-hour Senate floor filibuster did much to strengthen his ties with his father's hardcore following, told Fox Business Network on Tuesday he's OK with drone strikes on American citizens who, for instance, rob a liquor store.

Before any readers rashly decide to abandon Paul over this (and other) recaps of the Fox Business appearance, the senator’s comments should be more closely examined, especially in light of his already famous 13-hour filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to lead the CIA.

Here are Senator Paul’s comments that have apparently summoned the ire of legions of his former admirers:

I've never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash. I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.

Admittedly, that sounds less constitutionally clear than the senator’s prior statements from the Senate floor during his filibuster. For example, when asked during his filibuster how long he planned to carry on, Paul responded with an inspiring pledge to "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."

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Photo of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): AP Images

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