Ron Paul: Down with Deadly Drones, Both Foreign and Domestic

by Ron Paul

Last week I joined several of my colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama requesting clarification of his criteria for the lethal use of drones overseas. Administration officials assure us that a “high degree of confidence” is required that the person targeted by a drone is a terrorist. However, press reports have suggested that mere “patterns of behavior” and other vague criteria are actually being used to decide who to target in a drone strike. I am concerned that an already troublingly low threshold for execution on foreign soil may be even lower than we imagined.

The use of drones overseas may have become so convenient, operated as they are from a great distance, that far more “collateral damage” has become acceptable. Collateral damage is a polite way of saying killing innocent civilians. Is the ease of drone use a slippery slope to disregard for justice, and if so what might that mean for us as they become more widely used on American soil against American citizens?

This dramatic increase in the use of drones and the lowered threshold for their use to kill foreigners has tremendous implications for our national security. At home, some claim the use of drones reduces risk to American service members. But this can be true only in the most shortsighted sense. Internationally the expanded use of drones is wildly unpopular and in fact creates more enemies than it eliminates.

Earlier this month a former top terrorism official at the CIA warned that President Barack Obama’s expanded use of drones may actually be creating terrorist “safe havens.” Robert Grenier, who headed the CIA’s counter-terrorism center from 2004 to 2006, told a British newspaper that, “[the drone program] needs to be targeted much more finely. We have been seduced by them and the unintended consequences of our actions are going to outweigh the intended consequences.”

After a drone strike in Yemen last month once again killed more civilians than suspected al-Qaeda members, a Yemeni lawyer sent a message to President Obama stating “Dear Obama, when a U.S. drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda.” These are the unseen victims of the president’s expanded use of drones, but we should pay attention and we should ask ourselves how we would feel if the tables were turned and a foreign power was killing innocent American children from thousands of miles away. Would we not feel the same?

The expanded use of drones overseas has been matched with the expanded use of drones in the United States, which should alarm every American who values the Constitution and its protections against government interference in our private lives. Recently, the governor of Virginia welcomed the expanded use of drones in his state because they “make law enforcement more productive.” I find that attitude chilling and am sure I am not alone.

Do we want to live in a country where our government constantly flies aircraft overhead to make sure we are not doing anything it disapproves of? Already the Environmental Protection Agency uses drone surveillance to spy on farmers and ranchers to see if they are in compliance with regulations. Local law enforcement agencies are eyeing drone use with great anticipation. Do we really want to live under the watchful eye of “Big Brother”? It is terrifying enough to see how drones are being misused abroad. We must curtail the government’s ability use drones right away lest the massacres in Yemen and Pakistan turn out to be crude training exercises for what the administration has in mind on our own soil.


  • I have faith in Ron Paul, but how can he not address Rand’s endorsement of Romney? At least he should make clear that he will not make that endorsement.
    My doubts are growing every day he stays silent on that.

  • Lew Rockwell says Ron Paul will never endorse Romney and I think he knows best so everyone should stop hating on Ron Paul for Rand pauls actions

  • Adrianna

    Elections is a fraud. The RNC is a fraud.

    What happened with all the Millions spend on the Ron Paul campaign. Why is Ron Paul so silent?

    If you spend money on a Presidential candidate- the race should be fought to the end.

    Romney has NOTHING to offer against Obama; except a birth certificate. Obama was the selected winner – before the primaries even started.

    Electronic voting is a fraud. The USA should use paper votes – which can be audited; but the criminal warmongers won’t allow it.

    If a candidate can’t vote for Ron Paul, can he abstain from voting?

  • This was a planned coordinated effort. The fact that mister honest integrity won’t even address the shit storm from his sons total sellout of the liberty movement says it all. This movement started with truth and liberty. It’s become politics and BS! Fuck Ron Paul until he addresses it!

  • “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”… that’s politics for you. it’s an age old political strategy/slogan. every dictator, king, queen, emperor, prime minister, president, politician, etc.. throughout history have done such a thing. so don’t be surprised.

  • Govern Bob McDonnell of VA is a Tyrant, Write to his office and remind him that we have a constitution. They already fly helicopters around No. VA. patrolling different areas. I am sure they want to use drones to save money and expand their observation range without any one noticing. Next we will see them checking radar on the highways and mailing you a speeding ticket, or flying over neighborhoods looking in peoples back yards or using therm o imagining to see whats going on inside your house

  • I dont mind them as much on the border or over areas we have DECLARED war zones (no shadow ops into other countries)

  • Look up what some of the “collateral damage” looks like. Kids with their faces blown in half, yet still alive….HORRIFYING!!! These Neo-con-man are absolute cowards and disgusting!! This shit has to change!! F these neo-con bastards!! They’re truly satanic…like that ugly coward bill “the pussy” crystal and richard pearle necklace..I hate these rotten bastards and they will keep on destroying America and creating enemies around the world….and we’ll be the people who suffer the consequences!

  • Right….because no Patriot has ever been threatened or attacked and marched on. He’s made a lot of money for him and his family by pretending to campaign to win while all the while knowing he would bow out, and his son/roommate would endorse the cop impersonator Mitt Romney.

  • IMHO Ron was threatened. Back off or no RNC. Rand trying to infiltrate? Will just turn him into a politician.

  • I will vote for Ron Paul even if I have to write him into the ballot. No matter what you HAVE MY VOTE! Its up to us people its up to us.

  • Freedom!

  • ur the one that is pathetic just because we lost the battle doesnt mean the war is over and accepting reality isnt just giving in to evil pieces of shit like Romney that is what being pathetic is.

  • Last time I checked … we are allowed to vote with our conscience.
    If you respect an uber-flip-flopper-no-platform-cannot-give-a-straight-answer person then vote for Mitt Romney (“white” Obama). If you value a philosophically/politically/logically/Constitutionally consistent person then vote for Ron Paul.
    It’s as simple as that.

  • I wouldn’t be too harsh on Ron. He’s not the one who supported Romney, Rand did. Don’t blame Ron for something his son did. Rand was never quite like his father and personally, there was something about him I didn’t trust.

  • God himself could tell me to vote for Romney and I’d tell him to “get screwed”

  • You all are stubborn and pathetic. YOU LOST. Accept it and endorse Romney already. Rand Paul accepted reality, time for Ron and his supporters to.

  • me too.

  • Him and his son are two entirely different human beings. There’s no need to disregard the father of this movement over something his son (predictably) did.

  • After Tampa it’s on to the General Election.

    I will be writing in Ron Paul.