Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Well, Mr President, I watched some of that quote debate unquote yesterday. I saw colleagues of mine who know better come to the floor and voice this same concern, which is totally unfounded. I must say that the use of Jane Fonda's name does evoke certain memories with me. And I must say that she is not my favorite American, but I also believe as odious as it was, Ms Fonda acted within her Constitutional rights.
Oh really? She was cavorting with the enemy, John. She wasn't just holding a sign in a protest exercising her right to speak her mind, but she was there on the battlefield, even sitting on active enemy ADA making believe she was shooting down our pilots, providing them specific aid in the form of propaganda photo ops to demoralize our troops. North Vietnam was a country, a nation state that we were in open hostilities with at the time. Within her Constitutional rights? Are you mad? And what if she did what she did with al Qaeda instead of the North Vietnamese...? Would that be similarly within her Constitutional rights? Funny, but today, that would bring a drone attack raining down on her head.
You know you wanted to kill her, John. Deep down where your heart used to be, you wanted to see her burn in napalm. But we all know to say so isn't conducive to continuing a Senate career which is well past its prime.
There is no such thing as a war against terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic. You declare war on countries or other nation/states that support terrorists, just like the war against the Taliban and their control over Afghanistan for refusing to comply with an ultimatum to turn over bin Laden.
There is no world-wide battlefield.
You went to war with the Taliban and drove them out of power and bin Laden out of Afghanistan. You drove bin Laden into Pakistan. But you would not, could not declare war on Pakistan, could you? Oh, you sure wanted to. You know you did, but you see, they have THE bomb. Is it any wonder that Iran might like to have one with all the posturing you keep doing to attack them?
The perception of a war against terrorism is no different than the war on tobacco, the war on drugs, the war on illiteracy, the war on... whatever you politicians want to declare a fictitious war on, it's only to further your agenda to exert control over the populace and whittle away citizens' rights.
And not only did he deride Sen Paul, but all those others like Sen Mitch McConnell who "know better". Pffft.
He drones on...
And to somehow say anyone who disagrees with American policy and even may demonstrate against it is somehow a member of an organization who makes that individual an enemy combatant is simply false. It is simply false!
And how do we know that? Al Awlaki was not part of al Qaeda, at least not until you pushed him. After 9/11, he was preaching that terrorism was wrong and the attack on the WTC and Pentagon were wrong and that Americans should NOT be targeted by Muslims. And what about his son? All we know about his assassination is a snide remark by the WH press secretary, Robert Gibbs, suggesting that he "should have a far more responsible father."
Sen McCain certainly has a lot of loiter time and more ammunition to expend. And here is where it gets good. As you will see in his own words, Sen McCain ADMITS Congressional failure to address EXACTLY what Sen Paul was, IMHO, actually trying to get them to address by asking President Obama a simple, limited scope question.
Now, Mr President, I believe we need to visit this whole issue of the use of drones; who uses them; whether the CIA should become they're own Air Force; what the oversight is; what the legal and political foundations for this kind of conflict needs to be reviewed. And the foundations rest mostly on laws designed for another task, that government lawyers have interpreted without public scrutiny to meet new challenges outside the surveillance context.
Congress, as a body, has not debated the means or ends of secret warfare. Because secret surveillance and targeted strikes rather than US military detention are central to the new warfare. We need they know viable plaintiffs to test the government's authorities in court.
In short, executive branch decisions since 2001 have led the nation to a new type of war against new enemies on a new battlefield without enough focused national debate, deliberate Congressional approval, or real judiciary review. We probably need a new framework statute akin to the National Security Act of 1947 or the series of intelligent reforms made after Watergate or even the 2001 Authorization of Force to describe the... to define the scope of the new war, the authorities and limitations on presidential power, and forms of review of the president's actions.
That's exactly what Rand Paul wanted, for you to admit your failures and you fell right into the trap as many soldiers did into North Vietnamese punji stick pits. It had nothing to do with drones. The kill list could be accomplished with guns, knives, piano wire, poison, sticks, or whatever...
And no, John. Warfare hasn't changed. Terrorism hasn't changed. No matter how you try to mold and transmogrify them into something new to suit your delusions of how to best to wield such deadly power.
There is some more in there which he again derides Sen Paul, but let's cut to the chase of the REAL source of Sen McCain's ire...
I'd also like to add an additional note, Mr President. About 42%, as I'm told, of the members of this Senate are here for six years or less. Everytime a majority party is in power, they become frustrated with the exercise of the minority or their rights here in the Senate. And back some years ago, there was gonna be... we were gonna eliminate... when Republicans this side of the aisle was in the majority, we were gonna eliminate the ability to call for 60 votes for judges. We... uh... confirmation of judges. We were able to put that aside.
There was another effort, just at the beginning of this Senate to do away with 60 votes and back down to 51, which in my view would have destroyed the Senate. A lot of us work... A group of us worked very hard for a long time to come up with some compromises that would allow the Senate to move more rapidly, but at the same time..., and efficiently, but at the same time preserve the 60 vote majority requirement on some pieces of legislation. What we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those critics who say that the rules of the Senate are being abused. I hope my colleagues on this side of the aisle will take that into consideration.
That's it. A dozen years of Congress failing to do it's job to address the scope of presidential powers w/ respect to targeted killings along with the last five years of them failing to even produce a budget while starting off this new session with a full scale assault on our individual rights to bear arms to protect our lives, families, and property... Is Mr McCain worried about any of that?
Mr McCain is most worried that an upstart freshman actually had the gall to use the precious rules of the Senate to demand an answer from the President on how he percieves he can act in total absence of Congress DOING IT'S DAMN JOB. And what do you do? You come unglued.
Thank you, Sen McCain. You should be ashamed of yourself.