Senator Mike Lee: "Heaven help us all" if President can use drones on US soil

Joining in the filibuster effort were a handful of other supporters in the GOP, interestingly they were mostly the new guard. The new guard consists of those who actually value the founding principles of this country and it’s founding documents, namely the Constitution. Senator Mike Lee is part of that new guard and talked about the filibuster, Holder, and battle for the soul of the GOP on radio today.

Read the transcript of the interview below:

GLENN: Sitting right behind Ted Cruz was Senator Mike Lee who is on the phone with us now. Senator, how are you, sir?

LEE: Doing great. It's good to be with you, Glenn.

GLENN: Is that the most incredible? You were ‑‑ I mean, I was watching your face sitting next to Ted Cruz. Your mouth was open, part of it just like, oh, my gosh. Is this the most incredible thing you've heard?

LEE: Yeah. But, you know, Ted's always great. Ted always is able to get to the heart of the issue.

GLENN: No, no, no. I mean ‑‑

LEE: ‑‑ very, very quickly.

GLENN: I didn't mean from Ted. I mean from the attorney general.

PAT: That he can't pin down whether or not it's constitutional.

LEE: I was ‑‑ I was shocked. When Ted gave him what I thought was a very clear hypothetical, a very clear opportunity for him to say, "Yeah, that would be unconstitutional, that would fall outside of all kinds of constitutional boundaries," and he didn't. You know, he eventually got there sort of, but only after a lot of prodding and even then it wasn't entirely certain what he was saying or why he was being so difficult to get there.

GLENN: Senator, is this, the drone business, you know, having the president issue an order to kill somebody, you know, with a drone without a warrant and without a trial, is there any ‑‑ is there any use to the Constitution at all if the president has claimed this ability and executes it?

LEE: Well, certainly not on a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. I mean, one can fathom circumstances in which an individual engaged in an act of war against the United States outside the United States might become the casualty of an act of war by the United States defending itself. But what Cruz was talking about here was an American citizen on U.S. soil sitting in a cafe with a friend and so, yeah, one cannot conceive of a scenario in which that would be appropriate or constitutional.

GLENN: But the question is, is there any use for the Con ‑‑ does this president, is there ‑‑ is the Constitution and the constitutional republic as we know it of no use if the president can claim this power? Which he seems to be doing.

LEE: Yeah. Look, if the president can claim this power, if the president in fact were to utilize this power and to utilize it in the manner that was discussed yesterday at the hearing, yeah, heaven help us all. I mean, one would wonder what would be left of any of us. If your question is, is there anything left that's intact in the Constitution today? Certainly, yes, there is. But in order for that to remain the case, we've got to continue to stand up and we've got to continue to identify problems when we see them. And we've got to identify them early become ‑‑ before they become bigger problems.

GLENN: Right.

LEE: So that when we see something like this, when we see statements by this administration, reckless statements suggesting vast, vast power by the chief executive to snuff out human life without the due process of law, we've got to have people who are willing to stand up and say, no, that is not okay.

GLENN: So are you surprised? Because TheBlaze is putting together a slide show of the websites last night. We have ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times. None of them at 12:05 had anything at all on the front page about Rand Paul and the stand against the drones. None of them had that. Huffington Post did, TheBlaze did, the Drudge Report did. Even MSNBC had this as the lead. But the mainstream media had nothing. Are the ‑‑ A, is the mainstream media, are they so disconnected from anything at all anymore that they don't recognize what's happening with the drones; and B, are the American people even there anymore?

LEE: Yeah, Glenn, I can't figure out whether they're really smart or whether they're really dumb for not airing this. I tend to lean, of course, toward the conclusion that they're really dumb because the American people are concerned about this. This is an issue for many, many tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans and so they shouldn't be ignoring it. To the extent they continue to ignore this issue, they do so at their own peril.

The only argument for saying maybe they're really smart is if they really are that focused on protecting incumbent Democrats in congress or in the White House that they don't want to report it.

GLENN: Well, let me go ‑‑

LEE: They know that this is an issue where Republicans are standing up for individual liberties and Democrats are standing on the sidelines and trying to ignore it.

GLENN: That's another thing. That is truly remarkable to me. I mean, some of us, I mean, I have come to the party awfully darn late on some of the things like the PATRIOT Act. I asked for sunsets the whole time, but I actually believed that people in congress were more like me and more like you, that we were all decent and we were just trying to do the right thing and we would never ‑‑ you know, we'd never do things without warrants, et cetera, et cetera. What a fool. What a fool to give people in power that kind of power. However, the Democrats have been the ones the whole time that have been saying, "We stand up for the individual and this grotesque growth of power," and one ‑‑ wasn't it one yesterday? One stood up and joined your ranks on the floor of the Senate last night.

LEE: Well, no, we ‑‑ by the end of the evening, we had quite a few members of the Senate. But you're exactly right: We had only one Democrat who joined us and that was Ron Wyden of Oregon. Ron is a man of principle. Ron stands by the principles of the Constitution and especially when it comes to matters of individual liberty. I was thrilled to have him join us and I hope his willingness to join us will be a signal to others that will cause others on the other side of the aisle to join us as well.

GLENN: For anybody who doesn't believe that drones ‑‑ you know, I guess, I guess ‑‑ I was trying to drive in this morning and thinking what the hell is wrong with Americans? How can they not understand what this means? And I thought to myself, okay, let me put myself in the reverse shoes. That I have friends who are very, very big Barack Obama supporters and I know one of them is coming into ‑‑ one of them is coming into town today. He's my photographer, George Lange. He's darn near a Communist. I mean, he's a ‑‑ but he's a great guy. Oh, I've already ‑‑ nevermind. So he's coming into town, and I know I'm going to have the conversation with him, and he's most likely going to say, "I didn't know about it." But then when we talk about it, he'll say ‑‑ I'm guessing here ‑‑ "He'll never do that. The president will never do that. He wouldn't do it." How do you convince people that this does matter?

LEE: Well, first of all, to the extent they become aware of it, people will come to that conclusion on their own because when they hear about it, when they hear it discussed, when they discuss it with others, they will come to that conclusion on their own. But they have to hear about it first, which is exactly why it's so troubling that so many of these mainstream news media outlets were just showing nothing but radio silence on this issue.

But this, Glenn, is why you're seeing such a shift away from the mainstream news media. This is why you're seeing the ratings of some of these outlets dipping on the broadcast media side while simultaneously you've got ratings of Fox News doing well, you've got TheBlaze doing really well because people are realizing that there are other sources of information and they're coming to those sources because they realize they can get the truth from those sources and it won't be filtered in such a way as to protect one party and hurt the other.

STU: Senator, I heard Rand Paul over and over again through this filibuster say things to the effect of, "I just hope the president comes here and says what I think is in his heart, that it is not constitutional to kill Americans that are noncombatants on American soil." He said things like this over and over again in an effort to be cordial and keep the debate as civilized as possible. But if it were true that it was in his heart, wouldn't this be a really easy process? I mean, this is not a high hurdle you've set for this guy to clear.

LEE: Yeah, that's right. I really don't know why he didn't come forward because I think Rand Paul is right. I think the president probably does know that in his heart. I don't know. It may be that some of his political advisors were telling him that this wouldn't be a big deal, he didn't need to bother himself with something so trivial, perhaps that the Republicans would look foolish if the filibuster continued at what happened, it wouldn't surprise me.

GLENN: You are being a good, loyal, decent member of the Senate and also of your faith, Mike.

STU: (Laughing.)

GLENN: Stop it. In the heart of hearts, this president will absolutely use a drone on American citizens who he deems is a threat to not the Constitution but to what he believes America should be.

PAT: No comment on that.

GLENN: No comment. Okay.

STU: Very well advised.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: You're very smart for not responding to that.

PAT: Doing the right thing there.

GLENN: Mike, I wish you the best of luck. And is Brennan going to be confirmed?

LEE: You know, I suspect he will be confirmed. But at the end of this process we will see that a lot more attention has been brought during this confirmation process.

GLENN: Are you going to go ‑‑

LEE: With an issue that a lot of Americans ought to be concerned about. And I'm very happy with that.

GLENN: Are you going to vote for Brennan?

LEE: No, I'm not.

GLENN: Do you understand ‑‑ because you are a very strong constitutionalist. Do you understand Rand Paul's stance on this of, he says "I'm standing on the Constitution, I totally disagree with him but I have to do it because of constitutional reasons"? Do you believe that?

STU: His justification for voting for Hagel essentially.

GLENN: Yeah. Which, he's going to vote for, he's going to vote for ‑‑

STU: We don't know this yet.

GLENN: He said it to us on the air. Do you understand his constitutional objection?

LEE: I don't, to be perfectly honest. You mean that part with regard to not voting no?

GLENN: Yes.

LEE: I don't share ‑‑

PAT: I don't either.

LEE: I don't share that view. I respect Rand a lot and we agree on most things on the Constitution but we don't share that view in common. I don't think there's anything that requires me to vote yes for a nominee that I don't want to support.

GLENN: Thank you, Mike. I appreciate it.

PAT: I agree with him.

LEE: Thank you.

GLENN: God bless.

PAT: I've never seen anything in it that requires you to go ahead and approve every single person he nominates.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.