The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Thursday for his almost 13-hour filibuster against John Brennan, the nominee for CIA director, over the fact that Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. government had the legal authority to kill an American citizen on U.S. soil.
"Calm down, Senator," wrote the editors. "Mr. Holder is right, even if he doesn't explain the law very well. The U.S. government cannot randomly target American citizens on U.S. soil or anywhere else. What it can do under the laws of war is target an "enemy combatant" anywhere at anytime, including on U.S. soil. This includes a U.S. citizen who is also an enemy combatant."
The Journal board is hawkish, to be sure. But Paul's move found support in unlikely conservative quarters. The Heritage Foundation, where David Addington, the architect behind many of President George W. Bush's policies in the wake of 9/11 and a former aide to Dick Cheney, is a top official, said that it supported the filibuster. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, meanwhile, tweeted her support of Paul, while not saying exactly whether she supported the drone program.
In the end, 15 senators joined the filibuster in support of Paul, including Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Dick Durbin of Illinois were the only Democrats to speak.