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Hullabaloo


Sunday, June 08, 2014

 
Rand Paul: libertarian hawk


by digby

Oh heck:
After a nearly 13 hour-long filibuster a year ago where he demanded the government reform of the drone program abroad and domestically, Senator Rand Paul has warned the five freed Taliban members of possible strikes against them.

While talking with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” following the prisoner trade of five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Senator Paul said, “there would be a drone with their name on it.”

Senator Paul continued by saying “if people plot to attack our country, they will be dealt with, and they will be dealt harshly.”
[...]
Senator Paul also took time to criticize President Obama’s decision surrounding the prisoner exchange. The senator, who is aspiring for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, said he could never imagine a circumstance in which he would engage in open trade with enemy forces.
So really, his only "libertarian" principles are getting rid of taxes and regulations for rich people and businesses. The political establishment must be so pleased.

FYI, Mr Google tells me that drones and missiles are quite expensive:
A Reaper drone costs $28 million; one Hellfire missile (Lockheed Martin/Raytheon) costs about $70,000; one Paveway bomb (Lockheed Martin/Raytheon) about $20,000. The total cost of one weapons load for a Reaper – four Hellfire/ two Paveway – is at least $320,000, a third of a million dollars.
I don't know how much it cost to keep those 5 Taliban but I'm going to guess it was in the millions. Considering that all five were captured while trying to make a deal in the early days of the Afghan war, I'm going to guess that if Rand wants his tax cuts for the job creators, the lowly working stiffs are going to have to pony up some more money to keep this whole operation going. Somebody's got to pay the freight.

By the way, do yourself a favor and read the story of how the five Taliban "worst of the worst" were captured. I think we have graduated fully from tragedy to farce at this point.

Update: Did I say farce? Oy

“First of all, I wouldn’t release these men,” McCain told CNN host Candy Crowley.

“Ever?” Crowley wondered.


“Not these men,” McCain insisted. “They were judged time after time during their confinement in Guantanamo, they were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release. That was the judgement made.”

The Arizona Republican argued that Bergdahl knew when he joined the military that he was taking “certain risks, and among those risks are wounding, death, imprisonment. That’s why we cherish and love all of those men and women who serve so much.”

Crowley pointed out McCain had supported a prisoner exchange with the Taliban to save Bergdahl earlier this year.

McCain, however, insisted that the president had chosen the wrong prisoners, but refused to say exactly which detainees he would have selected.

“First of all, we’re not sending everybody home,” he chuckled. “We are going to send them — even if we close Guantanamo — we are going to send them to facilities inside the United States of America, that’s been the plan all along.”

“Second of all, I believe we should keep these people because they are hardcore jihadists who are responsible for 9/11,” McCain continued. “Of course, nobody wants to release people who are responsible for 9/11, and these people that are released that were Taliban governing worked hand-in-glove with al Qaeda.”

Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who was the former top prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, told MSNBC on Saturday that the prisoners released in exchanged for Bergdahl were so inconsequential that he did not even know who they were.

“My role as chief prosecutor was to review the information we had on the detainees to determine which ones we could potentially bring war crimes charges against,” Davis recalled. “When I saw the names of the five individuals, when they were reported last weekend, my first reaction was, ‘Who are they?’”

“I never saw the names before, which means there was not enough information to even make it on our list of potential prosecution,” he explained. “To trade five of them for a U.S. service member, in my estimation, and I’m often critical of President [Barack] Obama, I think they struck a pretty good deal.”

Honestly, it's just hopeless.

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