Rand Paul responded to the firestorm he caused with his comments yesterday, which many interpreted as a flip flop in his stance on the use of drones. He released this statement today in an attempt to clarify his meaning:
My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed.
Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.
Additionally, surveillance drones should only be used with warrants and specific targets.
Fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections. This was demonstrated last week in Boston. As we all seek to prevent future tragedies, we must continue to bear this in mind.
Hmm, well considering that the instance he cited yesterday (below) seems to be a very ordinary crime circumstance, that statement doesn’t really hold up.
Here’s the distinction, Neil — I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat an act of crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.
I guess we’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one (as we have to do so many, many times..), but Foreign Policy asked:
..if he was retracting his hypothetical about an armed liquor store thief being killed by a drone, his spokeswoman Moira Bagley told Foreign Policy “not retracting.”
Not retracting? Now we need another statement explaining that statement! If he’s not retracting the statement about an armed drone killing a liquor store robber before he’s tried, without warrant, then why even put out a new statement at all?
Rand consistently puts his foot in his mouth when speaking extemporaneously, which is a problem for the liberty movement. Rand has stepped to the forefront as the most electable liberty candidate (despite some leanings against the overall libertarian consensus), however he presents a danger in that he is under the microscope and missteps and misstatements are magnified. While I appreciate his efforts, the man scares me every time he opens his mouth. I feel like Tom Cruise’s publicist.