WASHINGTON -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul leapt to the defense of "crazy bastards" Thusday night, arguing in a spat with fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) that they are just as deserving of lawyers as anyone else.
Graham had been arguing in favor of an amendment barring the government from spending money to ship terrorism suspects from the prison base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S.
"The American people don't want to close Guantanamo Bay, which is an isolated military controlled facility, to bring these crazy bastards that want to kill us all to the United States," Graham said. "Most Americans believe that the people at Guantanamo Bay are not some kind of burglar or bank robber.They are bent on our destruction."
The amendement passed 54 to 41, with Paul voting for it, but the Kentucky lawmaker -- who later voted to end indefinite detention of Americans in the United States -- wanted to make clear that crazy bastards are people, too, and that they deserve to get trials in America.
"I want to make formal objection to the 'crazy bastards' standard," said Paul, who was once accused of some of his own odd behavior in allegedly blindfolding a coed at Baylor and making her worship the "Aqua Buddha."
"I don't really think that if we're going to have a crazy bastard standard that we shouldn't have a right to trial by jury, because if we're going to lock up all the crazy bastards, for goodness sakes, would you not want, if you're a crazy bastard, to have a right to trial by jury?" Paul said.
He meant that in all seriousness.
"I think this is a very serious debate and should not be made frivolous," Paul said in arguing against an indefinite detention system that parks suspects in Gitmo with little more than a habeas corpus hearing. "This is an ancient right that we have defended for 800 years, for goodness sakes. To say that habeas is due process is absurd. It's the beginning of due process. if you don't have a right to trial by jury, you do not have due process. You do not have a Constitution. What are you fighting against and for if you throw the Constitution out?"
Paul, at that point, was arguing for an amendment that aimed to ensure American terror suspects arrested in the United States get trials.
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.