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 think you’re just being a drama queen. Ron Paul was the one speaking in front all of America in the debates just to get boo’d by the neocons. He’s the one who has been standing up for individual liberty since before you were most likely born. He has done more for this movement than any of us can even hope to achieve. He’s probably the reason you’re involved in this movement. You should be ashamed that you’re willing to write him off because of his SON’S endorsement.

  • Revolution.

  • Revolution.

  • Yes indeed. I hope they will achieve something.
    Well, thanks for staying polite. As always, there are some angry young men around who are not yet capable of political debate and love to throw stones. I am glad you are not amongst them.

  • Stacey

    Please join SDAA (Stop Drones Across America).!/groups/334686506601666/

  • Dont REtire… we need to help paul.. please let me help paul subscribe love and xxxx Victoria Veritas

  • French Canadian


    If only people would listen to the Alex jones Show, they would know all about this…. and they would know years before it happens. Alex was talking about drones years ago… in fact, everything that is happening regarding the Police State in America, Alex warned people 10 to 15 years ago.

    But hey! Who wants to listen to this Austin Texas Hillbilly who goes in mad rands and cuts everyone off in interviews? Who wants to listen to this passionate patriot idiot who is always right?

    People don’t want to listen to him. People are snobs, they don’t want to listen to ordinary folks, to real people who says it like it is. People only want to listen to men with a suit and tie… who talk with no passion… who lie and don’t scare them with reality.

    ALEX IS AN ENCYCLOPEDIA… he knows so much about History, he has so many inside sources whistleblowers and incredible guests who come on his show and educate people.

    Too bad for the Americans citizens who doesn’t listen to his show. One day, not too far from now, in fact, in a very near future, people will remember this quote, when all hell will break loose:
    “People perish for lack of knowledge”

  • As a mark of respect between two individuals Ron Paul will shake the hand of anyone, even if it be with Hitler himself. Doing so doesn’t endorse the other person’s actions but rather it is an affirmation ,that liberty is for everyone, not just for RP himself.
    Endorsements are confusing in that selectivity is not on Ron Paul’s plate. He doesn’t discriminate, endorse or not endorse anyone, not even within his own staff. Instead he allows them to make their own decisions. This is liberty…plus.

  • robin

    I keep asking this question to my friends and family. Who is in charge of the government and they say, “we are”? Then I ask since we are suppose to be the boss here, are you making sure our employees are doing their job? The answer is, “I don’t have time, that’s our representatives job, I don’t care what they do, etc”. Get my drift. That is what I heard Ron Paul say in so many words in the video he put out recently. It appears many are afraid of freedom and prefer an authoritarian form of government, just like many conservatives say they don’t believe in big government, but if it benefits them, then they do. I’m sure I drive many people I know crazy because I talk about what is going on in the world, and our responsibility as citizens to be involved and demand accountability. The elite hope people are just struggling to get by that they don’t have time to pay attention to what is going on until they buy their groceries, have to go to the doctor or pay for gas, etc. Even then, people complain, but don’t take the next step. Again, until it affects people directly in profound ways, they will not do anything to try and change it. They’ll wait for someone else to do it for them, or feel like one person can’t make a difference so what’s the point of trying. Then there are those rare people that do whatever they can to make a positive impact in their communities and at the state and federal level.

  • Can we show restraint on using deadly inventions..or are we destined to go all the way in an unstoppable fashion?

  • Can we show restraint on using deadly inventions..or are we destined to go all the way in an unstoppable fashion?

  • Will America eventually use all it’s deadly inventions on us?

  • Will America eventually use all it’s deadly inventions on us?

  • this old fart is certainly not a leader. he is a false flag. either willingly or not. what a waste.

  • Scott R

    What’s next… thought police?

    I do not see how Obama and Romney can possible have 91% of the vote based on this drone issue alone. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

    Unless you want to live in a society in which the government decides what is best for you for everything from health care, to what size beverages you drink, I would suggest refraining from voting for Romney or Obama.

    IF you think the government knows best, you must trust that it is not influenced by the lobbyists including the military industrial complex and a secret group of bankers AKA the FED that get to control the entire economy with out any accountability.

    I would rather spend my own money to prop up businesses that have the MOST value to MY everyday life. Not some fat cat on Wall Street. Wouldn’t that type of stimulous make sense?

  • meaning of free

    If a peaceful revolution is needed, then the laws must be used. But which one out of the many thousands?

    What’s happening is a consequence of too much ‘partying’ and law talk every day, but it looks like people don’t know about it. Where are you specialist and experts?

    I want a functional society and an economy that works. So, which is the way?

  • robin

    Every time I have a discussion with someone, I ask do you know about the 30,000 spy drones that will be spying on us by 2020, and do you know how many are already doing this without our knowledge? How do you like living in a surveillance society where your every move will be monitored? Then my last question is, so what are you trying to do about it? If everyone would at least put the heat on their congressional leaders maybe that would be a start, but I can’t seem to get people to take action. It’s frustrating, but I will not give up. My sister=in-law told me about Congressmen Beard who wanted his colleagues to sponsor his legislation that would prevent inside trading and no one would endorse his bill until the story was on 60 minutes. Then lots of people jumped on the bandwagon. People have told me for sometime that they have often heard strange noises-like a buzzing sound. Many people don’t seem to pay attention to their environment. We’ve been pointing out chem trail clouds for a number of years, but I’ve only met a handful of people who know what they are who have noticed these cloud formations. Most people don’t seem to care. I’m afraid until the majority of Americans see them overhead spying on them and think about what it means to have the right to privacy, they won’t even care.

  • meaning of free

    Quetion to Adrianna on- “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?”

    Me: so then the questions are-
    according to the law what kind of state is the country in, civil or military?
    in either case, what role is civilian population to play, and how?
    what is the hierarchy of laws to be followed in either case?

    There are so many lawyers and specialist in this -that have no job or income- that could be going through the thousands of written laws to figure this out and provide an answer or guidance to the current government and population. Why can they do that?

    It should be defined, or redefined, no?

  • Joe

    These drones are just one step closer towards a total police state…

    If something isn’t done, and once society is conditioned enough, perhaps they may even be armed lethally.

  • Sue Republican thugs for all they are worth- arrest and prosecute them. Teach Republican leaders a lesson in ethics and principles because they don’t have any.
    Democrats are worse- they assassinate people- like Hillary Clinton’s deceased campaign leaders.