'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Rand Paul

PAUL: Yeah, but a lot of -- a lot of what's very important to myself and others is what the law says, and how you should approach this. For example, it's not good enough for us that he's not using a power. We want him to assert that he won't. That he doesn't have the power. For example, last year we passed legislation that I voted against, and may civil libertarians opposed, and that's detaining citizens indefinitely without a trial, and sending them to Guantanamo Bay. Now the president said he won't use that power. But we think a president who really believes in civil liberties, would have vetoed the bill, and not signed the bill.

RADDATZ: All right. I -- I want to go back to the drone strikes for a moment. They also revealed this week for the first time publicly, that four Americans had been killed in drone strikes, including Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Should he have not been targeted by a drone?

PAUL: My preference would be that when an American commits treason, particularly if they're not actively involved in a battle, if you're an American fighting with the Taliban, you're going to be shot with no due process.

RADDATZ: But -- but...

PAUL: That's what happened...


RADDATZ: ...how do you go after someone like...


PAUL: ...and if you're conspiring against America...


RADDATZ: ...if you can't get him?

PAUL: Let me -- let me finish my point. Let me finish -- let me finish my point so I can -- we can have a discussion. But, if you are conspiring to attack America and you are a traitor? I would try you for treason. If you don't come home for the trial, I would try you in absentia, and then the death penalty has repeatedly been used throughout our history for treason, but a judge looks at evidence. And that's something that separates us from the rest of the world, is that we adjudicate things by taking it to an independent body who is not politically motivated, or elected.

RADDATZ: Let -- let's move back to Guantanamo. The president did speak about closing it. No specifics though. Do you think it should be closed?

PAUL: No. I think it's become a symbol of something though, and I think things should change. For example, I think the people being held there are bad people. What I would do though is accuse them, charge them, and try them in military commissions, or trials, or tribunals. And I think that would go a long way toward showing the world that we're not going to hold them without charge forever.

RADDATZ: I want to move on to the IRS. Do you believe that this was limited to the Tea Party? Targeting the Tea Party? Or do you believe there were other groups as well, targeted?

PAUL: You know, I don't know. I don't know whether people were targeted for conservative religious values, or just conservative political values, and sometimes there's an overlap. I think we have to get to the bottom of this. I think the constellation of these three scandals ongoing, really takes away from the president's moral authority to lead the nation. Nobody questions his legal authority, but I think he's really losing the moral authority to lead this nation. And he really needs to put a stop to this. I don't care whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, nobody likes to see the opposite party punishing you for your political beliefs.

RADDATZ: You -- you...


PAUL: ...using the power in government to do so.


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