Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and the Senate Republican caucus has just ended a thirteen hour filibuster of a drone usage policy recently undertaken by President Obama. On the issue of drone usage he is wrong. While I am not a fan of President Obama, remember before being killed by a drone strike, Muslim imam Anwar Awlaki inspired, gave moral as well as material support to terrorists. Due to Awlaki’s influence (that continues even to this day), Nidal Malik Hasan conducted a mass shooting in the name of his god. The drone policy is crafted to prevent the taking of innocent American lives and I highly doubt it will be used carelessly and without any objective analysis before an order is given to use them against a target.
Paul is grandstanding and if he was successful in his attempts to halt using drones here it would have cost innocent American lives since his actions could have stripped the very government that exists to protect our rights from being able to exercise its ability to do so either by drones or otherwise. During 2010, Faisal Shazad nearly bombed Times Square in New York City in which he was a secular Muslim who was radicalized within a few months of reading the writings of Anwar Awlaki on the internet.
Shortly after he became a jihadist, Shazad contacted the Pakistani Taliban, flew to his native home making his way to the areas of Pakistan where the Taliban operated. Shazad got material and financial support from the Taliban along with training in bomb making in order to carry out his act. The people in Times Square at the time were lucky that his bomb was so poorly constructed that it did not go off and a bystander saw the bomb in Shazad’s vehicle prompting them to call police. Like all other terrorists, Shazad has declared war on the US in one way or another. This being the case, terrorists (Muslim and non-Muslim) should be treated like enemy combatants and killed on sight by using drones or any other means necessary.