|Senator Rand Paul (official portrait)|
But [Senator Rand Paul] was assailed by two of his party’s most prominent national security hawks, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. They took to the floor on Thursday to defend President Obama’s aggressive use of drones against Al Qaeda and its affiliates and to suggest that Mr. Paul and his backers had engaged in scaremongering.“We’ve done, I think, a disservice to a lot of Americans by making them think that somehow they’re in danger from their government,” Mr. McCain said. “They’re not. But we are in danger from a dedicated, longstanding, easily replaceable-leadership enemy that is hellbent on our destruction.”Mr. Paul won particular support from two other Tea Party-backed Republicans, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. The three spelled one another during the filibuster on Wednesday afternoon and evening, drawing in part from a huge positive response on Twitter to their efforts.
Usually, this passivity seems to be because the establishment Republicans in Congress currently, and for some decades, have been of the mindset that what the GOP must do the win elections and serve the public good is to strive for common ground with Democrats, demonstrate bipartisanship, and avoid rocking the boat. So this is not so much an issue of character or intentions as it is of inertia.
PAUL: Well, the Bureau of Justice has come forward with some criterion for people you need to report on if you know these people. These are people with missing fingers, stains on their clothes, people who like to pay in cash, people who have weatherized ammunition, and more than seven days of food. These are people who are potential terrorists. And if that's the list, I know a lot of people on that list. I'm a little concerned that they ought to get a trial before they get a drone strike ordered.
PAUL: You know, I think we've struck a nerve, and there is a little bit of a difference within the Republican caucus and a growing sort of division on some of these issues. Their side believes that the battlefield is everywhere. And this is what John Brennan believes here. He says there's no geographic limitation to the battlefield. And that means that if the battlefield is America also, then the people, you know, like Senator McCain and Graham, they believe that the laws of war apply. The problem is that the laws of war don't involve due process. And I understand when you're in war, you don't get due process. So in the battlefield you don't ask your opponent, you know, for Miranda rights, you don't present them with warrants. You shoot your opponent.