By R.G. Yoho
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
While most American citizens were mundanely going about their daily business this past week, one bold and principled United States Senator stood on the floor of the Capitol, fighting for the rights and protections of every American.
Every breathing United States citizen, liberal or conservative, should have been cheering for Sen. Rand Paul (R.-KY) during his 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor.
Unfortunately, not only were many Americans unaware of the senator’s filibuster, but Paul was even ridiculed by at least a couple of the senior senators of his own party.
At issue was a simple and direct question posed by Sen. Paul to the Obama administration:
“Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?”
Initially, the administration stated that they were entitled to conduct drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil. However, Attorney General Eric Holder clarified his position in front of a senate hearing by saying that “the government has no intention to carry out any drone strikes in the United States.”
No intention — is that a declaration that should make us all feel better?
Are we are supposed to believe that President Obama, whose deliberately-unconstitutional actions have already been struck down by a federal court, would never exercise the power to summarily execute an American citizen through the use of a drone, an action the president has repeatedly authorized on enemy combatants on foreign soil.
No president, of either party, should ever be entrusted with the unrestricted and potentially-corrupting power to arbitrarily take the life of any American citizen.
Moreover, those limitations on governmental authority have already been guaranteed to each one of us in the United States Constitution.
Those limitations are known as the Bill of Rights.
Our Founders wisely understood the sinful nature of man and the corrupting influence of unlimited authority. Therefore, they sought to create a form of government with checks and balances that would serve to limit any one man’s power.
In order to obtain a definitive answer to his question about the legality of U.S. drone strikes, Sen. Paul employed a rare but historic use of the filibuster to delay a confirmation vote on the president’s selection of an anti-Israel, unapologetic defender of Islamic Jihad to run the CIA.
Apparently, the senator’s filibuster has also revealed that a number of his Senatorial colleagues, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, obviously place no value on the oath they took to defend the Constitution.
No doubt some of you are wondering why we should care.
The answer is simple: When Rand Paul took to the floor of the Senate, he was defending one of our nation’s most sacred, God-given rights.
The Fifth Amendment guarantees American citizens the right of “due process,” which restricts the government’s ability to prosecute, convict, and/or execute an American citizen without his ability to receive competent legal counsel and a fair trial by an impartial judge.
Therefore, it goes without saying that due process ends when a drone strike begins.
So important was this principle of due process to our Founders, John Adams willingly chose to risk his career and reputation to uphold it.
John Adams, the man who would become our second president, conducted a bold and spirited defense of the British soldiers who fired on the Colonists at the Boston Massacre, an action which Adams later described as “one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.”
In addition, this principle of due process and the right to a trial by Jury were denied the Colonists by King George and cited by Thomas Jefferson as one of the government’s abuses in the Declaration of Independence.
Moreover, the principle of due process, which made its way into our Constitution, was taken directly from the pages of the Mayflower Compact.
In fact, the concept of due process had its origins in Scripture, the words spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy, when he said, “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity.”
The principles of Mosaic law, calling for two or three witnesses in a capital case, were also carried into the words of the New Testament.
Despite the self-serving ridicule of his detractors, who were dining with the enemy when Rand Paul took to the floor of the United States Senate, the senator was standing up for the rights of every American citizen, upholding his oath to defend the Constitution, and fighting for our inalienable, God-given rights.
And that is a cause to which every American of every political and religious persuasion should quickly rally.
For in these days when good Americans are dying in Benghazi and those trying to save them are told by politicians to stand down, it’s good to see a statesman finally stand up.
R.G. Yoho is a writer and author of six books.