Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) cited comedian Stephen Colbert Wednesday while blasting the Obama administration’s use of drones to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.
“The comedian Stephen Colbert mocked this, and wrote or presented, ‘Trial by jury, trial by fire, rock, paper, scissors, who cares?'” Paul said of drone executions. “‘Due process just means there’s a process, right?'”
The Kentucky Republican was speaking on the Senate floor against President Barack Obama’s nominee for a federal judgeship in Boston, Harvard Law School professor David Barron. Barron, a former Justice Department official, authored a secret memo that laid out the legal justification for the deadly use of drones.
Paul slammed the Obama administration for a lack of transparency on drone executions and argued Barron’s memo does not justify killing an American without a trial.
“The current process is apparently, first the President meets with his advisers, decides who he’s trying to kill and then kills them,” Paul said.
“I suspect that the next time they kill an American it will be in secret by the executive branch because that’s the new norm,” he later added. “You’re voting for someone who has made this the historic precedent for how we will kill Americans overseas — in secret, by one branch of the administration, without representation, based upon an accusation.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.