Fellow Texans, last night made history.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky did not make history with the length of his filibuster, as it was less than 13 hours long and did not even place him within the top five longest filibusters on record in the US Senate. What the nation witnessed last night, however, was truly remarkable.
Several years ago, back during the Bush administration, I predicted that this nation would not last another ten years. The "America" we were raised to believe in would cease to exist on all levels, and would be replaced by an America that seemed truly unfathomable.
For over a decade, the US has been waging the longest war in our history, against a nation that has been oft-referred to as "The Graveyard of Empires". There does not appear to be any end in sight, as our government refuses to even define who our actual enemy is in this Orwellian drama of perpetual war. My children, aged six and eight years, have never known an America that wasn't at war.
At the same time our military has been ravaging the nations of the Middle East with military occupations and bombing campaigns against this unnameable enemy, the government claiming jurisdiction over us has been raping our civil liberties here at home.
For every four prisoners throughout the world, one of those prisoners is locked in a cage right here in America. We currently constitute only 5% of the world's population, but hold 25% of its incarcerated population in steel and concrete boxes. The majority of the people imprisoned in America have committed "crimes" that have no nameable victim and are offenses against nothing more than a statute written by unelected lobbyists and voted upon by uninformed legislatures.
The federal government, through secretive so-called "National Security Letters", have effectively done away with the 4th Amendment protection against warrantless searching of your communications by merely stating that they are relevant to an investigation...without even ever having to tell you why or how.
The ongoing fight to remove effective weaponry from the citizens has been ratcheted up, seemingly faster and faster every day. Three of the nation's four most populated cities have laws that severely restrict the ownership of firearms, effectively disarming millions of people via bureaucracy and excessive requirements for ownership.
The right to speak freely in a public place has been pissed upon since the introduction of "Free Speech Zones", which are often located far from the very people and/or places that are the target of protest. It is now a federal felony offense to protest against anyone under the protection of the US Secret Service, provided the object of that protection does not want you protesting.
A few years ago, a CIA-organized drone strike assassinated a US citizen on foreign soil. He was not engaged in actual combat, but was deemed to be an "imminent threat" to the US and "materially supportive" of Al Qaeda, because he produced DVDs that were critical of the US foreign policy in the Middle East and distributed throughout the Arab world. His 16 year old son, also a US citizen, was murdered in a separate drone strike shortly after. To date, there has been no open presentation of evidence that would warrant such extrajudicial killings. Robert Gibbs, a senior Obama campaign official, is on record as stating that the 16 year old boy "should have had more responsible parents".
We reached a turning point yesterday, however. John Owen Brennan, a career intelligence officer, was set to be appointed as director of the CIA by President Obama. While acting as deputy director for the Department of Homeland Security, Brennan was the person who reorganized the US drone program and devised the so-called "kill lists" of non-combatants outside of war zones, which is in direct conflict with countless international laws and even our own domestic law prohibiting political assassinations, and centralized its implementation within the Obama administration's executive branch.
These crimes were made legal by re-writing the definitions of "combatant" and "combat zone" so vaguely that anyone in any location at any time could be considered an "imminent threat" to the national security of the United States.
Beginning at roughly 10:47am Texas time on Wednesday, the 6th of March 2013, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky began a filibuster to block the confirmation of John Brennan as new director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and did so for one specific reason:
Neither Brennan, nor AttyGen Eric Holder, nor anyone else within the Obama administration, would provide a definite answer as to whether or not it would be constitutionally permissible to assassinate an American citizen on US soil without that person being tried and convicted of a capital offense in a court of law, if that person was not an immediate threat to the life of another individual.
Let that sink in. THERE WAS ACTUAL DEBATE ON THE SENATE FLOOR YESTERDAY, OVER WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT OF THESE UNITED STATES HAS THE RIGHT TO KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP WITHOUT ANY SORT OF A TRIAL.
I'm pretty sure this nation's over and done with...but it won't likely matter to people like me, we gotta get some sleep at some point.