Policy & Strategy

Rand Paul clarifies stance on drones

After facing heavy criticism Tuesday for his comments on the
use of drones to stop common criminals, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Wednesday
that his position on domestic drones had not changed.

Paul said that he did not believe that armed drones should
be used in “normal crime situations,” walking back his statement from less than 24
hours prior.

“My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my
position on drones had changed. Let me be clear: it has not,” Paul said in a
statement Wednesday morning.

Paul sparked a firestorm among his libertarian following on Tuesday
when he
on Fox News Business that armed drones could be used against someone
who robs a liquor store.

{mosads}“I’ve never argued against any technology being used when
you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on,” Paul said. “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 fly over your hot tub or
your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want
to watch your activities,” he said.

Paul’s views on drones gained national attention earlier
this year when he launched a 12-hour filibuster over the Obama administration’s ability
to use armed drones against American citizens, demanding a letter from the
White House saying it did not believe it had the authority to do so.

Last week’s attack in Boston — where security cameras
recorded the suspects, and overhead surveillance spotted suspect Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev hiding on a boat — has reignited the debate on how drones should be
used on U.S. soil.

Paul cited Boston in his statement as an example of fighting terrorism while “preserving our constitutional protections.”

He said that he believed armed drones “may only be
considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing,
imminent threat.” Surveillance drones should only be
used with warrants and specific targets, he added.

Tags Rand Paul

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video