I certainly wouldn’t have guessed it. My perception would have gotten in the way. My perception is that the author of this article would take the exact opposite view: that Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster was simply grandstanding and silly and not worth having a serious conversation about. In fact, when I Googled “The Kremlin on the Charles” I got this: Harvard University!

And yet, here’s what the editorial staff at the Harvard Crimson had to say about Rand’s marathon:

While Paul admitted the inevitable futility of the filibuster, he remained firm in his positing of a single, previously unanswered question: “Does the President have the authority to use a drone to kill an not engaged in combat on American soil?” We commend the senator for raising the alarm on this important aspect of civil liberty, and we fault the administration for its intransigence in clarifying its own policies.

They “commend” the senator and “fault” the administration? Something different must be happening on the Charles River in Boston!

The editorial goes on:

Throughout his marathon of a speech, Paul read passages from previous letters sent to him by the attorney general addressing his primary query. The cavalier and wholly unsatisfying answer was, namely, that the question is laughable in and of itself—the president has never had to ponder targeting an on U.S. soil.

Laudably, Paul was unhappy with this response and stood his ground until he could get an unambiguous “yes” or “no” from the Department. While he ultimately capitulated before such a memorandum arrived, the next day Attorney General Eric Holder backtracked from his previous position that citizens at home could be targeted in “extraordinary circumstances.” His new, clarified stance is that “the answer to [Senator Paul’s] question is no.”

Some are suggesting that Holder’s response cannot be depended upon in “extraordinary circumstances,” that the Obama administration will do whatever it pleases, without regard to Paul or the Constitution. They may be right. They probably are. But I come back to the editorial from the paper from the Kremlin on the Charles:

This is a victory not only for the senator from Kentucky’s political ambitions, but also for the good of the people at large. The Obama administration has been dangerously continuing the unsalutary covertness of the Bush-era national security team, which initiated the drone program a decade ago. Last year’s revelation that the president makes the final and unchecked decision on targeting members of his secret “kill list” calls into question how seriously our nation’s leaders take the Fifth Amendment.

To have them refer to the Fifth Amendment is a breakthrough. The Constitution, to the insiders who have for years had firm control of institutions of higher leaning (yes, leaning) like Harvard, has always been a stumbling block to their quest to build a world government.

They even quote Patrick Henry!

Patrick Henry once said, “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” Before Senator Paul’s bit of political theatre, it was not just the transactions of our rulers but also the possible scope of such transactions that had been blatantly concealed. Such is not the mark of good governance. While we are glad that Paul’s question has finally been granted a serious reply, we urge the administration to remember this moment in future situations. Likewise, we call on all of our nation’s leaders to be as brave as Senator Paul. When the government shrouds the nature of its business, it is up to political figures to call for transparency and openness.

What a pleasant surprise. I hope you did better on the quiz than I did.

 

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