Rand paul usa freedom act

rand paul usa freedom act

Passing the Freedom Act did not reform government snooping, so much as it made it legitimate, according to three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul. He asserts that Democrats and Republicans alike seek to reduce liberty for a promise of security.

One thing in Washington, when they have the ‘reform’ of something, you cannot trust them, because reform usually means they’re making things a lot worse,” Ron Paul told Larry King on Politicking, Tuesday evening. “I think the reform act is a very, very dangerous thing. It’s not a slight improvement, as some people argue.”

A Pennsylvania-born physician, Paul served in the House of Representatives for over 20 years before retiring in 2013. He ran for president three times: in 1988 as a Libertarian, and in 2008 and 2012 as a Republican.


“I think NSA reforms are necessary and I will continue to fight against bulk data collection,” Paul explained in an emailed statement. “Last night, I stood on principle by opposing a bill that included a provision reauthorizing elements of the Patriot Act that violate the Bill of Rights. I have always been steadfast against the Patriot Act and I will continue to do all I can to prevent its extension.”

Paul specifically objected that the act would extend three provisions of the PATRIOT Act beyond their June 1, 2015, sunset dates to 2017.
These include bulk collection of records under Section 215, secret “lone wolf” surveillance of non-U.S.

It’s why I have been seeking for months to have a full, open and honest debate on this issue— a debate that never came. “So last week, seeing proponents of this illegal spying rushing toward a deadline to wholesale renew this unconstitutional power, I filibustered the bill. I spoke for over 10 hours to call attention to the vast expansion of the spy state and the corresponding erosion of our liberties.

“Then, last week, I further blocked the extension of these powers and the Senate adjourned for recess rather than stay and debate them.

“Tomorrow, we will come back with just hours left before the NSA illegal spying powers expire.

Rand paul usa freedom act6

This misinterpretation of the law threatens our First, Second and Fourth Amendment rights,” Rep. Sensenbrenner recently said. “Congress never intended this.

I will rein in the abuse of both the Patriot Act and the U.S. Constitution with the support of the American public.”


Leahy is the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, which also has jurisdiction over the Patriot Act and FISA. He also believes the government’s indiscriminate collection of Americans’ records must end, because the “government has not made its case that this is an effective counterterrorism tool, especially in light of the intrusion on Americans’ privacy rights.”

The partnership between these two very senior members of the House and Senate, on both the left and the right, gives this bill legitimacy and a real chance at passing.

Rand paul usa freedom actor

We allow the Fourth Amendment to be diminished.”

If the Senate passes the USA Freedom Act without changes, it will go to President Obama’s desk for signature. But there’s still room for the Senate to make changes to the legislation, which would send the bill back to the House and prolong the debate over NSA spying.

In the end, though, Paul’s tactics are likely to end in the passage of legislation both Paul and McConnell opposed — but that the White House and congressional Democrats support.

Three Patriot Act provisions have expired

Among the provisions set to expire is one meant to deal with “lone wolf” terrorists.

Rand paul usa freedom acte

But when the USA Freedom Act was passed in the House, amendments were not permitted at all. What Paul and Wyden want is for Senate leadership to allow for amendments.
My concern with the USA Freedom Act is that it still may allow for a bulk collection,” he said.

Also, here’s where confusion about what the USA Freedom Act does and doesn’t allow comes in. The reforms require more specific search terms and requires the identification of a specific person in order to prevent mass collection of huge numbers of innocent people’s data and records.
The definition of “person” in this context does include corporations. Paul has said several times in the filibuster that he’s afraid the NSA will just plug in “Verizon” as a specific term and just collect bulk data again.

And there was a provision that allows the government to ask the secretive FISA courts for warrants to spy on “lone wolf” terrorists who are not associated with any known government or terrorist group.

The government warned that if these programs expire, even temporarily, the consequences for America’s national security could be catastrophic. “What you’re doing, essentially, is you’re playing national security Russian roulette,” one anonymous White House official said this week.

But civil liberties advocates disagreed. While Section 215 is undoubtedly helpful in counterterrorism investigations, civil liberties groups point out that the government has lots of other ways it can get access to business records in order to spy on terrorists.

The same goes, they say, for the roving wiretaps and lone wolf provisions.

If that’s what they believe, to go along with them would be in my mind criminal.”

While Republican hawks are at the forefront of attacks on Rand, Ron Paul argued that the problem was not partisan but institutional. There are just as many hawks among the Democrats, he said, pointing out that President Obama “says a lot of good things about backing off from war,” yet the US is still involved in the civil war in Yemen and “very much involved, unnecessarily” in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Rand Paul filibusters NSA surveillance in Congress

We’ve only had two kinds of foreign policy,” argued Paul.
If other countries do exactly as we say, we give them billions and billions of dollars. If they don’t do exactly as we tell them, we turn on them and we kill them.”

True exceptionalism would mean leading by example, he said.

In their view, Paul’s purist stance risked squandering a golden opportunity to achieve reforms that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Major civil liberties groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union have taken an ambivalent stance on this debate. They agree with Paul that the USA Freedom Act doesn’t go far enough to rein in NSA spying.

But they also haven’t rallied behind Paul, who has yet to put forward a constructive alternative.

Paul left the Senate with three options

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) walks to the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill, May 31, 2015. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Senate had three options. It could pass the USA Freedom Act, which was approved by the House in mid-May and was supported by the White House and many privacy advocates.

In a statement to POLITICO Saturday, Paul warned that he would not consent to any efforts to pass either an extension of current law or the USA Freedom Act, a reform bill passed overwhelmingly by the House earlier this month.

“So tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program,” Paul said.

Because of the nature of the Senate rules, Paul can force the expiration of the PATRIOT Act, which he has vowed on the campaign trail to repeal as president because he contends it invades Americans’ privacy rights.

In a rare Sunday session, McConnell, sources said, appears likely to move the USA Freedom Act, despite his opposition to how the bill overhauls the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program.

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