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Fact-checking Rand Paul's fillibuster on drones

By Bill Adair
Published on Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

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.

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Researchers: Becky Bowers, Louis Jacobson

Names in this article: Barack Obama, Rand Paul

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