US senator vows marathon talk to block Brennanís confirmation vote
Iran Press TV
Thu Mar 7, 2013 7:39AM GMT
An American senator has vowed to deliver a marathon speech before an empty chamber of the US Senate in a bid to block a confirmation vote for President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the CIA spy agency.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul took to the Senate floor Wednesday morning in a so-called ‘filibuster’ bid to block an expected vote to confirm Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor and the mastermind behind his highly controversial targeted killing program John Brennan as the next CIA director, vowing “I will speak until I can no longer speak” until there are alarms that no US citizen “should be killed by a drone on American soil.”
“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,” Paul said.
Meanwhile, as the senator continued speaking, his spokesman reportedly said he was ‘armed’ with three large binders of information to help him deliver his marathon speech.
“I have allowed the president to pick his appointees, but I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution,” Paul emphasized. “I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking the country.”
Paul further recalled Obama’s past criticism of the Bush administration’s prosecution of his purported “war on terrorism,” arguing that if Obama were still in the US Senate, he would likely be supporting the effort.
“It amazes and disappoints me how much he (Obama) has changed,” Paul said.
"Are we so complacent with our rights that we would allow a president to say he might kill Americans?" Paul asked during his long speech. "No one person, no one politician should be allowed ... to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything we fundamentally believe in our country."
Five hours after Paul began his remarks, meanwhile, a reportedly “frustrated” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to interrupt the Republican senator and proceed to a vote after a final hour’s worth of debate. Paul, however, rejected the demand.
"We're through for the night,” Reid replied, before Paul resumed his ‘filibuster’ speech.
While several Republican senators invoked support for Paul’s effort, a Democrat, Ron Wyden from Oregon, also went to the Senate floor to express support for Paul’s effort to bring attention to a greater oversight over Obama administration’s targeted killing measures.
“What it comes down to is, every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them,” Wyden said as quoted in local press reports.
Paul, according to local press reports, has insisted that his effort was not motivated by party politics, noting that he had voted for John Kerry as Secretary of State as well as Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, after initially voting to block Hagel’s nomination.
“I would be here if it were a Republican president doing this,” Paul added. “Really, the great irony of this is that President Obama’s opinion on this is an extension of George Bush’s opinion.”
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