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02/06/2013

Rand Paul on drones: Only lawyers could define 'imminent' to mean opposite

U.S. Republican senator Rand Paul this morning spoke to a few reporters at the conservative Heritage Foundation about the drone killing of American radical preacher Anwar al Awlaki and his son in Yemen. Slate magazine has this which is worth repeating:

"We're very concerned about having one person in the executive branch get together with some flash cards and decide who they're going to kill around the world, particularly American citizens.

There's never been any answer from the executive branch on the killing of the 16-year old son of somebody who was an admitted terrorist. The son never was. The statement that came out, that was leaked, is particularly concerning -- the statement that the condition of an operational leader presents an imminent threat of attack to the U.S. does not require the U.S. to have clear evidence that a specific act will take place in the immediate future.

One of my staff said, only a team of lawyers could define 'imminent' to mean the exact opposite. I agree completely."

Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at The Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is the author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour 

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