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Rand Paul Fights for Us Non-Terrorist Americans

Rand Paul

On February 12, 2014, Rand Paul joined Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, and lead counsel Ken Cuccinelli in announcing a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander and FBI Director, James Comey.

In filing the lawsuit Senator Paul stated: “I am filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama because he has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the 4th Amendment. The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants. I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win.”

“I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records,” Paul told POLITICO. “I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”

The senator also argued that there’s “no evidence” that NSA surveillance of phone data has stopped terrorism, even as the agency’s proponents say it plays an important role in keeping the country safe.

“Whether you breach the Fourth Amendment 20 percent of the time or 100 percent of the time, it’s still not the point,” Paul said in a recent interview. “The point is whether or not you still collect millions of people’s information with a single warrant.”

We applaud Senator Paul, Kibbe and Cuccinelli for standing-up for us non-terrorist Americans, and we are especially grateful that they weren’t turned from this path by President Obama’s recent announcement of a series of phony NSA “reforms.”

As Senator Paul put it when Obama announced the alleged reforms: “The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails. President Obama’s announced solution to the NSA spying controversy is the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration… The American people should not expect the fox to guard the hen house.” 

And that in a nutshell has been the problem with the NSA domestic spying program and with abuses of the Patriot Act as well – unaccountable bureaucrats have been hired and allowed to run amuck searching for “terrorists” in contravention of the Constitution and in many cases anything remotely resembling common sense as well. 

The Obama administration and advocates of the massive security state it has erected are working mightily to make it seem like Senator Paul’s lawsuit is unnecessary. 

The National Security Agency’s massive and now-exposed data gathering program on Americans’ telephone use picks up less than 30 percent of calls, according to two reports recently leaked to opinion-leading newspapers.

The reports say the agency’s anti-terrorism, data-gathering project has been unable to adapt to the country’s rapid and large-scale transition from landlines to cell phones. And NSA data collection has declined significantly since the program started in 2006, when it collected data on nearly all U.S. calls, anonymous officials and sources told The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Supporters of the meta-data collection program who say it is needed to thwart would-be terror attacks quickly began to argue the news reports show the program is somehow less invasive, and therefor somehow less unconstitutional than limited government constitutional conservatives, such as Senator Paul, have portrayed.

This is to put it politely a load of hogwash – and it follows an all too familiar Obama pattern of denial, minimization and then dissembling admission in the face of incontrovertible proof.

The fact of the matter is that the Obama administration is merely shifting the way it targets these generalized collections of phone data. Fox News reports FedBizOpps.gov, said the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is "investigating whether existing commercially available capabilities can provide for a new approach to the government's telephony metadata collection program."

The Associated Press reported last month that the DNI is already funding five research teams across the country in an effort to develop an encrypted search technique that could be used by the NSA to securely scan phone databanks held elsewhere.

In other words, the Obama administration is not letting the program languish; it is trying to upgrade the domestic spying capabilities that are being eroded by technology and the shift away from landlines to cellphones. Far from taking solace in the fact that the NSA is only looking at 30 percent of American’s telephone records we should understand that this is merely a temporary setback for the security state in the contest between technology and the Constitution.

Unless Congress grows a spine and a hitherto unmanifested regard for the Constitution, our only hope for returning the Obama administration to the strict confines of the Fourth Amendment lies with the courts. Senator Paul, Matt Kibbe and Ken Cuccinelli will be opposed by the vast resources of the federal government, yet they can prevail with your support.  To learn more about Senator Rand Paul’s lawsuit and read the complaint against Obama’s systematic violations of the Fourth Amendment click here to go to FreedomWorks’ “Stop the NSA” page.

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