March 11, 2013
By Sal Paradise
As any well informed politico knows, this past week Rand Paul (R-KY) spearheaded a good old fashioned filibuster, which focused primarily on drone attacks; Specifically drone attacks upon US citizens. While some on the senate floor claim that the use of drones is essential to national security, Congressman Paul disagrees. In fact, following in the footsteps of his father, Rand Paul says that this is a clear example of how government has become “too big.” That is to say, the Federal Government is over stepping their boundaries when it comes to the rights of the people.
Should the use of attack and surveillance drones be a decision that is made at a state level? Probably not, but a more important question would be; Are they really necessary for our national security or are they a post-nine-eleven paranoia? Between the FBI, NSA and CIA the United States not only has tremendous intelligence capabilities, but also a ton of firepower at their disposal already. Drones operating in US air space may simply be overkill, or it may not make a big difference as far as being an addition to what law enforcement already has in their arsenal. To be fair to the citizens of the United States, much of the firepower used by government and law enforcement agencies is overkill and the threat of drone strikes adds to the problem.
Of course, and perhaps Rand Paul’s biggest concern, is that due process is not being carried out and that drone capabilities will be abused by the current administration and those to follow. Unknown to most people, the mass introduction drones on United States soil is almost inevitable. At the same time, there are insufficient regulations for how the government and law enforcement deploys the drones. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 designated the Federal Aviation Administration with integrating unmanned drones into the domestic airspace by September 2015, which means that over the next few years there will be a spike in drone use across the Continental United States. If the Obama administration did not mean to scare US citizens, they sure have a funny way of showing it. The thought of unmanned drones with surveillance and attack capabilities has many people afraid of their government once again. And there are of course many people who, either are unaware of the drones or simply do not care about them being there. Though it is clear and almost painfully obvious how little people know about the Constitution and even less about it’s relevance to our everyday lives, these drones do go against the letter of constitutional law in many ways. This is still the land of the free and nobody should have to be afraid of their government.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said as he began. “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.”
-Rand Paul (R-KY)