Rand Paul's filibuster: Why "due process of law" matters

That leaders find admitting “nor deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2013 – Kentucky Senator Rand Paul stayed on his feet, speaking almost non-stop for 12 hours and 52 minutes Wednesday night. This was done in protest of the nomination of John Brennan to the post of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Brennan was repeatedly asked during his confirmation hearings whether he considered it constitutional to kill American citizens, on American soil without a trial. Brennan refused to say “no”.

SEE RELATED: Attack on the 4th Amendment

He was confirmed today.

Attorney General Eric Holder was similarly questioned by Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Wednesday, who asked the question multiple times, receiving only vague and evasive responses, until he gave up and started to move on.

At that point Holder may have realized that refusing to give a straight answer would look bad in the press, gave in and said “no”.

SEE RELATED: Paul’s Filibuster Ends After Almost 13 Hours

That our leaders find it so difficult to admit that “.. nor deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …” still has legal authority over their conduct is amazing.

Perhaps it is the fact that they have already managed to circumvent the “liberty” portion of the fifth, somehow claiming that indefinite detention without charges or a trial is constitutional. I suspect Jefferson would have considered that treason.

Demanding that these men go on record stating that in this case, they will abide by the constitution, is a sad state of affairs.

Senators McCain and Graham showed their true colors in response to the filibuster. A response of “I’m ashamed that this question even needed to be asked, let alone require a filibuster to get an answer” was not only the correct response, but the only response a man who is supposed to be a representative of the people should make.

McCain and Graham instead had only derogatory comments.

Graham, a former Air Force judge advocate apparently feels killing Americans in their beds is just fine, stating that Obama had the “good judgment to understand we’re at war. To my party: I’m a bit disappointed that you no longer apparently think we’re at war.”

This is where it gets scary.

Section 1867 of the 2012 NDAA declared the United States a war zone. The same NDAA that made it “legal” for our elected officials to make you or I disappear without trial or charges, made it possible for the government to halt all rights protected by the Constitution at any time they choose.

There are a many reasons to be afraid of our government these days. Here are a few.

The DOD annual refresher course on anti-terrorism contains a questionnaire; one of the questions asked “which of the following are a low-level terrorist activity?” The choices are: Attacking the Pentagon – IED’s – Hate crimes against racial groups – Protests.

The correct answer? Protests.

Most Americans have heard that the Department of Homeland Security has recently purchased about two billion bullets. Did you know they recently purchased 2,717 anti-personnel light armored vehicles affectionately known as “street-sweepers”?

They call them street-sweepers due to the large number of gun ports in every direction, designed to be used in urban areas against small arms fire. This is the same agency that released a document stating that citizens who supported the second Amendment, veterans, libertarians and a host of other groups were the biggest domestic terrorist threat to the US.

A document recently leaked from the Army is very interesting as well. The 325 page, February 2010 document, (FM 3-39.40) is signed by Joyce E.Morrow from the Secretary of the Army’s office. It is an instructional document, detailing the procedure for internment and resettlement of civilians. It goes to great length about the layout of the detention facilities and how to process the detainees. The Army released a statement saying that the document “was not intended for public release, and did not apply to US citizens”.

Anyone who took the time to actually read the document quickly realized that that was a lie; well, the part about applying to US citizens at least. In section 7-16 (Identification) it clearly states “the prisoner’s social security number is placed on the second line.”

Since when did non-citizens have social security numbers?

The document also refers to the coordination of other US agencies, namely FEMA and the DHS, both of which only operate domestically. One of the situations under which deadly force is authorized is to “terminate an active escape attempt” (page 238). This debunks the comments that these were merely meant to provide disaster relief facilities.

If this doesn’t scare you, perhaps you should apply to become an Internment/Resettlement Specialist (31E) for the Army? They are apparently still hiring.

The PATRIOT Act took away our right to privacy. The NDAA took away our right to liberty. It has also laid the groundwork to take away our right to free speech, to bear arms, even to life itself.

Senator Rand Paul should be cheered by every American for standing up for those of us who are not above the law. McCain and Graham are poster-boys for term limits, as they have apparently forgotten that they took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

“The term ‘conspiracy theorist’ is a label used by the establishment to dismiss the idea that powerful people might get together and actually plan anything.” - George Carlin

READ MORE: Politics from the Blue Collar

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Mike Shortridge

Mike is a former Marine who served in the Middle East. He is disgusted with both the Republican and Democratic parties, seeing them as two heads of the same beast. He writes from the conservative perspective, with a focus on making complex subjects easy to understand.


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