Friday, October 31st, 2014

Fact-checking Rand Paul's fillibuster on drones

Sen. Rand Paul spoke for 13 hours about the Obama administration policy on drone strikes.
Sen. Rand Paul spoke for 13 hours about the Obama administration policy on drone strikes.

Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster on the Obama administration's policy on drone strikes was a remarkable display of staying power that has focused new attention on the controversial attacks and turned the usual partisanship of Congress upside-down.

The Kentucky Republican, aided by a few colleagues, spoke for 13 hours Wednesday about his concerns about the Obama policy.  That prompted a response Thursday by two of his fellow Republicans, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who defended Obama's policy.

"To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?" Graham said. "They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?"

We have fact-checked two claims so far:

Paul said that when President Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about the killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old son of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric tied to al-Qaida, the spokesman replied "said he should have chosen a more responsible father." We rated that Half True.

During the floor debate, Paul sent a tweet that said President Obama "is advocating a drone strike program in America." We rated that False.