For a Libertarian, Rand Paul Supports Awfully Broad Police Powers

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Since his anti-drone filibuster, Kentucky Sen. Paul has been celebrated as the leader of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. But there are limits to his belief in national security limits.

Indeed, his latest explanation of his objections to using drones on American soil shows he actually believes in incredibly broad police power. "Here's the distinction — I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat, an act of crime going on," Paul told Fox Business Network TuesdayThe Hill reports. "If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him. But it's different if they want to come fly over your hot tub, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities."

Maybe you find it comforting that Paul opposes drones spying on Americans in hot tubs. But his example of a liquor store robber is unsettling. His hypothetical comes into play after a crime is committed, and not when innocent people are in danger ("comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50"). A policeman can use deadly force if he thinks his life is threatened. But a drone, by definition, cannot have its life threatened. A drone doesn't issue a verbal warning — "Stop or I'll shoot!" — or a warning shot. Most models for the escalation of force has have several warning steps before firing.

Watch Paul's interview here:

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