In an interview with Scott Horton last year, Paul said that "torture is always wrong," but hasn't spoken up on the issue since, and it's unclear whether he views "enhanced interrogation" as torture.
When it comes to due process for people accused of terrorism, Paul is indistinguishable from the neoconservatives who tried to prevent his rise. Early on, Paul reversed his position favoring Gitmo's closure and issued a statement saying he supported the use of military commissions:Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution...These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.
It's clear from the numbers that most of the detainees who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo were not "our enemies," Of the 800 detainees, the government can only identify 10 percent who they are "certain" went on to engage in terrorist activity afterwards, and independent estimates put the numbers much lower. At best, one can say that the vast majority of those released were released without being convicted, which makes Paul's claim that they are all "thugs" and "enemies" dubious. Paul's Gitmo NIMBYism and support for ineffectual military commissions as a method of trying people he's preemptively declared guilty puts him firmly alongside the likes of Dick and Liz Cheney on due process and terrorism.
At the nexus of immigration and national security, Paul becomes downright incoherent:I believe our greatest national security threat is our lack of security at the border. On 9/11, 16 of 19 hijackers were here on ‘legal’ student Visas but were not in school or in the states they were supposed to be in.The 9/11 terrorists came in through the front door. Ergo, we need to secure the border. What? Paul also supports "a moratorium on Visas from about ten rogue nations or anybody that has traveled to those nations." That's even more extreme that the Obama administration's now-abandoned racial profiling lite policy -- you're a British citizen who went to visit relatives in Pakistan lately? Banned.
It should be said that Paul appears to have a fairly consistent -- if nativist -- constitutional philosophy: The Constitution grants certain inalienable rights to Americans but not to foreigners. That shouldn't be mistaken for Constitutional fidelity, the Constitution distinguishes between "citizens" and "persons" for a reason, and foreigners charged with crimes in the U.S. have always been given the same due process rights as anyone else, precisely because freedom is as much about what government is allowed to do to you as much as it is about what you are allowed to do.So is Paul better than "most Democratic Senators" or Obama? Outside the PATRIOT Act, he seems to be your average Republican.