Paul: It's "Unseemly" that President Orders Drone Strikes Against U.S. Citizens

Feb 10, 2013

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says the President shouldn't be able to authorize drone strikes on U.S. citizens until there is some sort of review process in place.

Speaking Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program, the Republican from Bowling Green said that it was "very unseemly that a politician gets to decide the death of an American citizen."

"They should answer about this 16-year-old boy, al-Awlaki’s son, that was killed, not in collateral damage but in a separate strike. They never answered that. I think you should be tried for treason if you’re an American citizen, you go overseas and you take up arms. I’m probably for executing you but I want to hear the evidence," Sen. Paul said.

Paul was referring to Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the teenager son of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al- Qaeda propagandist killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen a year ago. The teenager was killed in a separate strike some two weeks after his father was killed.

The ordered deaths of the al-Awlaki's have raised concern in some corners of Congress and with civil liberties groups who question the authority of the executive branch to order the deaths of American citizens abroad without greater due process than what those individuals currently receive.

The Obama administration has steadfastly defended its targeted killing program, saying it conforms with the norms of international law concerning armed conflict.

“The president, a politician, Republican or Democrat, should never get to decide someone’s death by flipping through some flash cards and saying, ‘You want to kill him? Yeah, let’s go ahead and kill him,'" Sen. Paul told CNN.