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U.S. using drones to kill Edward Snowden? Ron Paul wrong again

June 12, 2013|By Robin Abcarian
  • Former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul said he is afraid the U.S. government will try to kill former CIA employee Edward Snowden.
Former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul said he is afraid the U.S. government… (Ron T. Ennis / MCT )

Every once in a while on the two-line chart of life, something former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul says intersects with actual reality.

Tuesday was not one of those days.

On Tuesday, he told Fox Business Network he is afraid the U.S. government is going to kill Edward Snowden, the young man who leaked American surveillance secrets to The Guardian and Washington Post last week. 

“I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile,” said Paul, according to the Fox News website. “I mean we live in a bad time where American citizens don’t even have rights and that they can be killed, but the gentlemen is trying to tell the truth about what’s going on.”

Come on, Dr. Paul. This kind of hyperbole is beneath even you. (Though it probably helps raise money for your “social welfare” nonprofit, the Campaign for Liberty).

There’s a legitimate debate going on now about the legality and morality of the government’s secret surveillance programs, thanks to Snowden and his revelations. And there is certainly a legitimate debate to be had over the government’s policy on drones missile strikes and whether they can legitimately be used to attack American citizens who are known to be engaged in terror plots against the United States.

Paul’s son, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, engaged that issue when he filibustered the president’s nominee to lead the CIA for 13 hours in March. Paul demanded the administration clarify whether it has the right to use drone missiles to kill Americans on U.S. soil.

I find few areas of agreement with either Paul, but I applauded Sen. Paul for forcing the underdebated question onto the public stage in such a dramatic fashion.

Pretending that Snowden is about to be taken out by a drone strike (in Hong Kong?), Ron Paul shows he’s an ankle-biter, not a leader.

As he so often did as a presidential candidate, he veers once again into cartoon territory.

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robin.abcarian@latimes.com

twitter.com/robinabcarian

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