Libertarians began to abandon Rand Paul (R-KY) in droves after he voted for the 2013 NDAA. Many of them believed that this legislation included indefinite detention of US citizens. However, it did not. Many of them have sworn to never vote for Rand Paul again. These misguided libertarians are upset over nothing. Rand Paul explains:
“I have noticed that many are confused by my vote for NDAA. Please allow me to explain.
First, we should be clear about what the bill is. NDAA is the yearly defense authorization bill. It’s primary function is to specify which programs can and can’t be funded within the Pentagon and throughout the military. It is not the bill that spends the money—that comes later in an appropriations bill.
Because I think we should spend less, I will offer amendments to cut spending. I will likely vote against the final spending bill. This wasn’t it.
This bill also isn’t about indefinite detention. This year’s bill did not contain the authorization for indefinite detention.
That provision was in last year’s NDAA bill.
The bill this year contained the amendment I supported which sharply limited the detention power, and eliminated it entirely for American citizens in the US. While it is only a partial victory, it was a big victory. Particularly compared to what passed last year. Even so, I will continue to fight to protect anyone who could possibly be indefinitely detained.
I would never vote for any bill, anywhere, that I believed enhanced the government’s power to abridge your rights and detain people. This goes against every principle I hold dear and the Constitution I took an oath to uphold and protect.
Government power and the many associated abuses have been piling up for years. We will not win all our liberties back at once. But we did win one battle this year, and we should be pleased that we did while also realizing the fight is really just getting started.
I hope you will keep fighting alongside me.”
Long time friend and Congressional ally, US Representative Justin Amash provided the following statement:
“Senator Rand Paul is correct in his description of the 2013 NDAA. It’s the 2012 NDAA (not 2013) that authorizes indefinite detention without charge or trial. There’s much more to be done to protect our rights and undo the harm of the 2012 NDAA (which doesn’t expire), but thanks to the efforts of United States Senator Mike Lee and Sen. Paul, we are making significant progress in (re-)advancing the principle that all people in the United States have a constitutionally protected right to full due process.”
With Super PACs already forming to support a Rand Paul for President 2016 ticket if the liberty movement hopes to advance it would seem that Rand Paul is their best chance in decades. However, with liberty focused alternative media smearing Rand’s name without warrant over his vote on the 2013 NDAA the movement is not making their case any easier to win.