Bill Maher Applauds Rand Paul's Filibuster, Then Defends Drone Strikes
“Real Time” host Bill Maher revealed his feelings on the issue of drone strikes during a lengthy discussion on his HBO program Friday.
On the one hand, Maher praised Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for taking a stand Wednesday by filibustering John Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA and drawing attention to the Obama administration’s deeply controversial targeted killings program in the process. “Let’s encourage Republicans when they do something close to good,” he said.
However, the comedian took umbrage with the fact that Paul seems to think this is an important matter only if the casualties of unmanned aerial drones are American.
“Every time somebody who is, I’m sure, a proud Christian talks about how ‘They can’t do it to Americans, but foreigners? Fuck them,’ ” Maher said. “There’s a real world where drones are actually killing people every day, but fuck them, we don’t care about them because they’re not Americans. That just doesn’t seem like the attitude Jesus would take.”
Maher later clarified his stance on drone strikes, saying that he believed that “some people do need killing.
“It’s like what I say about the death penalty: Let’s just kill the right people,” he noted.
But as panelist Arianna Huffington pointed out, the Obama administration has been less than forthcoming about whom and what it deems an imminent threat. “It’s like saying, ‘Trust us, we’re good people, we’re not the Bush White House. Trust us, we’re not going to kill any good people,” The Huffington Post publisher said. “They are killing good people; they’re killing civilians again and again.”
Maher responded, “Yeah, but you know what, if you were president you would do the same thing. Once you get to be president, they take you into a little room and they tell you about all the bad guys in the world that you and I don’t know about and that’s your chief job, to protect people. I know it’s bad and we do bad things, but it’s a bad world.”
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, comedian David Cross and Forbes contributor Avik Roy rounded out the panel on Friday’s program.
— Posted by Tracy Bloom.