Friday, April 24, 2015

The Despicable Ducking and Weaving of Rand Paul in Response to the Drone Attack that Killed Americans

By Robert Wenzel

David Weigel, whose column at Bloomberg is must reading for Rand Paul followers, reports:
On Thursday, after the White House revealed that two hostages had been killed in a drone strike against al-Qaeda, Paul was far more circumspect. Paul avoided the more public entrances to the Senate floor, the places where reporters are typically able to grab senators for quotes. 
What kind of maneuver is this from a presidential candidate? If Rand didn't know exactly how he wanted to respond to the news, he should have walked through a front entrance passed by any reporters and news cameras and said in a somber tone. "I am gathering all the facts and will have a statement later." That's how you look  presidential. By sneaking backdoor Rand sent the signal that he is not ready for prime time, especially since MSM considers him to be a go to person in the Senate for views on drones.

Weigel in another column writes:
More than a day has passed since President Obama revealed the details of drone strikes that killed two Al Qaeda hostages—one of them American—and two Americans who had joined Al Qaeda. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has remained fairly quiet, releasing a one-sentence statement decrying the deaths of the hostages, but saying nothing about the citizens who joined Al Qaeda.
This was hardly the scenario Paul imagined in his 2013 drone filibuster, when he hypothesized an attack on an "enemy combatant" within the United States, "sitting outside a cafe." Yet Paul has subsequently said that American citizens should be charged and found guilty of crimes before being killed. And some of the people who were gripped by the original 2013 argument wonder if Paul is missing a moment. 
"Rand, drones killing U.S. citizens: The precise argument of your filibuster," wrote journalist Sam Tanenhaus on Twitter today. "The hawks snickered. You were right. Where are you?".
Even more alarming is Rand's failure to even match the call by Cruz Missile for an investigation.

There is a lot to investigate.

Curiously, Warren Weinstein, the American hostage who was killed in the attack, was the  Pakistan country director for  the Arlington, Virginia-based,.J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S. firm advising Pakistani businesses and government under contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development. As Ron Paul has pointed out, USAID has often been a cover for CIA operations.

A 1992 memo written by Weinstein, while he was at USAID, points to his active participation in political changes in Africa. The memo is a request by Weinstein for $12 million for among other things to (my bold):
support activities leading to: increased civic participation and  education leading up to and following elections... throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Weinstein also had stints as a Peace Corps director in Togo and the Ivory Coast in Africa and with the International Finance Corp. of the World Bank Group.

Giovanni Lo Porto, the Italian hostage killed, worked for German aid group Welthungerhilfe, which is funded by  the EU Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations' World Food Programme.

There is much to investigate here, from the intelligence failure resulting in the killings of the two hostages to the justifications that Obama is using to kill Americans without trial, to the curious activities of agencies such as USAID in the world's hot spots.

The topic of collateral damage has been brought to the forefront because of this attack. It would seem that this would, thus, be an ideal opportunity to call for  an investigation into how many non-Americans have been killed as a result of drone strike collateral damage.

These are all issues that have seemingly been delivered to Rand Paul on a silver platter as a result of this horrific drone attack. Yet, he remains mostly silent.

One has to ask, Why? Why won't Rand even call for the investigation of such a horrific event (never mind going as far as objecting to it)?

It is difficult to find an answer other than that he does not want to weaken the image he is developing as a tough guy on foreign policy. His silence is a deafening warning of the danger he becomes to peace and freedom lovers everywhere as he becomes more neoconish.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics


  1. Rand is a prisoner of his desire to be made anew in the footsteps of Sheldon Adelson.

    1. Maybe this is Randy's last little turn onstage. He's been consistently giving all his Kentucky voters cause to regret their votes. That is, of course, if votes actually mattered, he would be done for in the next senate election cycle.