Fresh from his filibuster victory, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky hit back against attacks by fellow Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — saying on Thursday that they “think the whole world is a battlefield.”
“They think the whole world is a battlefield, including America, and that the laws of war should apply,” Paul told Fox News. The senators earlier Thursday had described Paul’s comments on drones as “ridiculous.”
“The laws of war don't involve due process, so when they ask you for an attorney you tell them to shut up,” Paul told Fox.
“That's not my understanding of the way America works.
“I don't think the laws of war apply to America, I think the Bill of Rights do — and I think it's a disservice to our soldiers that our senators up there are arguing that the Bill of Rights aren't important.”
Paul blasted his senior colleagues for saying that the rules of war should trump the Bill of Rights. McCain and Graham had attacked Paul over statements about whether drones should be used on American soil outside of combat during his nearly 13-hour filibuster on Wednesday, The Hill
“This was a very serious question,” Paul told Fox. “It was a question that took a month and a half to get an answer to and so I would argue — and I think a lot of the public would agree with me, both on the right and the left — that what we asked was a very serious question and it's a question that we finally got an answer to.”
On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul in a brief letter that the US does not have the authority to conduct a drone attack against a U.S. citizen on American soil.
“Hooray, for 13 hours yesterday we asked them that question,” Paul told Fox after the letter was read to him during the interview. “And so there is a result and a victory. Under duress and under public humiliation the White House will respond and do the right thing.”
That it took a long filibuster to get the response, Paul said: “So now, after 13 hours of filibuster, we're proud to announce that the president is not going to kill unarmed Americans on American soil.
“My next question is why did it take so long, why is it so hard, and why would a president so jealously guard power that they were afraid to say this, but I am glad and I think that the answer does answer my question,” Paul told Fox.
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