Drone Filibuster Gets Bipartisan Attention

Published 03/07 2013 10:52AM

Updated 03/07 2013 10:55AM

It's one of the few remaining issues that can bring Democrats and Republicans together -- fear of unchecked government drones. 

Sen. Rand Paul's historic 13-hour filibuster has drawn renewed attention to a technological expansion that would have been unthinkable a decade ago, and new legislation that's meant to rein it in. 

While the Obama administration increasingly employs armed drones as a pivotal counter-terrorism tool overseas, domestic law enforcement agencies are also moving to broaden the use of surveillance mini-drones over the next several years. The Federal Aviation Administration projects as many as 10,000 licensed systems by 2017. 

The lethal drones used in Pakistan are a far cry from the unarmed eyes in the sky used in America. But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and a host of other lawmakers see constitutional pitfalls across the board -- namely focusing on how armed, and unarmed, drones might someday be used against American citizens. 

Paul and the senators from both sides of the aisle who joined him on the floor Wednesday described a bleak future where an unscrupulous government might use drones against its own population if left unchecked. 

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