It’s hard to tell how serious he is because in the recording he’s kind of chuckling, but Ron Paul told a Fox Business interviewer Tuesday, “I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile,” referring to Edward Snowden. We know Paul has some strong feelings about U.S. drone strikes — he floated impeachment for Obama after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed, and of course his son Rand Paul did that thirteen-hour filibuster over drone strikes on Americans. But seriously suggesting that Snowden, a high-profile figure who people still can’t agree whether to call a hero or a traitor, would get blown up by an extrajudicial drone strike, shows a certain detachment from reality shared by luminaries such as Rush Limbaugh.
But even if the conclusion that Snowden is in drone danger is fantastic, the reasoning is not hard to follow: The calls for the death penalty have already started. And Snowden himself suggested to the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman that the U.S. intelligence community “will most certainly kill you if they think you are the single point of failure that could stop this disclosure and make them the sole owner of this information.”
However, he isn’t anymore, having turned over “thousands of documents” to the reporters telling his story. And besides, so far in the Snowden saga we know he’s been in Hong Kong and considered seeking asylum in Iceland. Those aren’t exactly places where one can operate cruise missiles and drones without scrutiny.