President Barack Obama assured his critics on Thursday that his administration only uses drones strikes in specific situations and only on terrorists.
But to the man who filibustered for nearly 13 hours on the White House’s ambiguous authority to drone individuals, the president’s words rang hollow.
“I was pleased with his words,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said during a Sunday interview on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“However, there still is a question in my mind, of what he thinks due process is. Due process to most of us is a court of law, it’s a trial by jury, and right now their process is him looking at some flashcards, and a Power Point presentation on Terror Tuesdays in the White House,” he added. “For a lot of us, that’s not really due process.”
ABC New’s Martha Raddatz jumped in to point out that the president mentioned possible new rules for the use of unmanned drones. But, again, Sen. Paul was not impressed.
“It’s not good enough to us that he’s not using a power,” the senator said, “we want him to assert that he doesn’t have the power. Last year, we passed legislation—that I voted against, and many civil libertarians opposed—and that’s detaining citizens indefinitely without a trial and sending them to Guantanamo Bay.”
“The President said he won’t use that power. But we think a President who really believes in civil liberties would have vetoed the bill,” he added:
The president during his speech at National Defense University spoke about more than just his administration’s use of drones — but that seems to be the one topic everyone wanted him to address. So he did.
“America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists – our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute them,” the president said.
America cannot take strikes wherever we choose – our actions are bound by consultations with partners, and respect for state sovereignty. America does not take strikes to punish individuals — we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat.
“And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured – the highest standard we can set,” the president added.
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(H/T: Mediaite.) Featured image Getty Images.