WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster of President Obama’s nomination for CIA director, John Brennan, continued to roll into its fifth hour on Wednesday.
Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster began at 11:47 a.m. and Sen. Paul has been talking throughout the entire 5-hour—and continuing – presentation. Paul stressed that the filibuster was less about the people involved than the issue of government authority to kill American citizens without due process.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said.
An outspoken libertarian, Sen. Paul took issue with a wide range of issues involving what he labeled the abuses of executive power and civil liberties under Obama’s administration. In particular, he debated the contents of a letter he received from Attorney General Eric Holder that stated the Obama administration had the legal authority to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil.
He asked that politicians from both Republican and Democratic parties hold their constitutional rights in higher regard.
“The criteria for drone strikes overseas is something I don’t think most Americans would agree with.”
Paul stated that liberal democrats are “suspiciously quiet” because they have such a strong faith in current President Barack Obama. Sen. Paul said his filibuster isn’t so much about Obama or Brennan this is about the rule of law and protecting this country in the future. In 2007, Paul said he agreed with Obama’s views on civil liberties and stance against government intrusions of constitutional privacy.
He asked why Obama would stand up for constitutional protection of someone on the phone but not of their lives.
“Where is the Barack Obama of 2007?” Sen. Paul asked. “If there were an ounce of courage in this body, I would be joined by many other senators,” he added. “Are we going to give up our rights to politicians?”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss – a Republican from Georgia – thanked Sen. Paul for putting the drone issue at the forefront of congressional discussion. He also had Sen. Paul clarify the difficulty he had in getting any answer from the Obama administration on its legality to kill American citizens on American soil.
Saxby compared getting answers from the Obama administration to getting a root canal. Paul said he simply wanted a “succinct reply” from the administration and they have failed to deliver such a response.
Sen. Pat Toomey – a Republican from Pennsylvania – agreed with Sen. Paul, and said that new technologies demand new congressional debate on privacy concerns.