The reason why presidents don’t say “never”

Rand Paul is an idiot and all of you liberals who are agreeing with his filibuster are idiots.  There, I said it. Now, let me explain why.

Rand PaulRand Paul asked whether it could ever be possible for the President to authorize a drone strike against American citizens on American soil who are not determined to be an “imminent threat”.  The original official response was:  “I cannot imagine a scenario where that would happen.”

Then, Rand Paul freaks-the-fuck-out because the answer wasn’t a simple “No, the President would never be able to do that.”

As part of his freaking-the-fuck-out, Rand Paul stands up in front of Congress and talks about–amidst many many other things–a large number of completely hypothetical fantasy “what if” scenarios about how drones might be abused if the answer to his question isn’t a definite and absolute “NO”.

The problem is, there are also many hypothetical, fantasy-land scenarios that he did not cover in his little freak-out session.  As long as we’ve already agreed to wade into Hypothetical Land, how about this:

Radical terrorists from another country have captured a plane with 20 American citizens on board and they have taken it over and are going to fly it into the Empire State building!

For various procedural and logistical reasons, the fastest way to prevent this attack on this famous building in New York City will be to use drones to demolish the plane in the sky.


There are American citizens on board! They are in American airspace. They are trapped. They are not actually part of the plot against America, so they technically are not causing an imminent threat. They are not terrorists or enemy combatants.

So to kill them with a drone is something that the President has said HE WOULD NEVER EVER EVER EVER DO.


Therefore, hundreds of lives must be lost and the Empire State Building must be destroyed, all because a President was forced to promise that he would “never” use drones against American citizens.

See what happens when you enter Hypothetical Land?

To quote a representative of a previous presidential administration: There are known unknowns, and there are unknown unknowns.

When a president refuses to give an absolute “no” answer to a question, it isn’t shady and it isn’t conspiratorial.

It’s smart.

It’s an admission that we cannot always be sure that we’ve “imagined” all of the possible things that might happen in the future.