Rand Paul Eager to Kill the PATRIOT Act on Sunday

Rand Paul Eager to Kill the PATRIOT Act on Sunday

Rand Paul Eager to Kill the PATRIOT Act on Sunday

On Sunday at midnight the controversial PATRIOT Act is set to expire, and Senator Rand Paul is eager to put the final nail into its coffin, despite the fact that he is probably the only Senator who wants to wield the hammer. On Saturday, he claimed in a statement, “So tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program,” even though this would amount to only a brief expiration.


A majority of Congress members in both parties oppose gutting the entire PATRIOT Act, and needless to say, the intelligence community is also strongly opposed. An alternative to the PATRIOT Act which has passed the House is the USA Freedom Act, which ends the bulk collection of phone records. The Freedom Act is bicameral and bipartisan, supported by the likes of President Obama, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX); and Representatives John Conyers (D-MI), and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The Freedom Act, however, fell three votes short in the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called that chamber back for a rare Sunday vote to reconsider the USA Freedom Act.

But Rand Paul, ever the contrarian libertarian — not to mention his father’s son — is opposed even to this measure, leading America’s Liberty PAC, the only Super PAC endorsed by Paul, to launch this video:

Sen. Ted Cruz, targeted by the Super PAC as the “Capitulating Canadian,” laughed off the sophomoric video, brushing off his portrayal as “politics.” “People choose to throw rocks and go into the mud. My consistent pattern is I have no intention of reciprocating,” he said.

At a small gathering at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire on Friday night, Cruz said the following regarding the PATRIOT Act and security, in more measured tones, I might add:

Heritage Foundation legal fellow Charles Stimson also disagrees with Paul’s desire to totally abandon telephone metadata collection, writing that “Like it or not, the United States is at war with al-
Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State and associated forces. It must therefore rely on all lawful tools of national security, including robust “signals” intelligence.” He writes that three options exist that Congress should consider:

  • Amend Section 215 to allow the National Security Agency to continue to collect bulk telephone metadata and query that data as permitted by court order; codify the existing program, but add in cellphone data as well; and fold in the transparency, privacy and civil liberties contained within the USA Freedom Act.
  • Require that a private, third-party entity house the bulk telephone metadata, including cellphone data. Court orders from the FISC would authorize select employees of the private entity, with appropriate security clearances, to query the database. As with option one, Congress could add transparency, civil liberties, and privacy protections contained in the USA Freedom Act.
  • Reauthorize Section 215 and reform it to end government bulk collection of telephone metadata by the NSA. Instead, the metadata resides with the telephone carriers, where the government will have access to it subject to a court order by the FISC. (Stimson notes that this option is embodied in the USA Freedom Act.)

No matter. In an opinion piece published at TIME.com on Saturday night, Rand Paul once again would give no quarter to any reasoned alternative to the total abandonment of the PATRIOT Act. He wrote:

How will we defend ourselves if the Patriot Act expires? Well, perhaps we could just rely on the Constitution and demonstrate exactly how traditional judicial warrants can gather all the info we need—and how bulk collection really hasn’t worked.

Nonsense, says Andrew McCarthy, the former US Attorney who lead the 1995 terrorism prosecution against the “Blind Sheik,” appearing on Newsmax TV’s The Steve Malzberg Show.

“What we hear again and again is that there’s no direct correlation between having this metadata program and thwarting terrorist attacks.”

“The problem with that is that the point of the program is not to thwart terrorist attacks as much as we hope that it does, the point of the program is to help us map terrorist cells, figure out their membership and track down their funding sources so that those can be choked off.

“Moreover, the way intelligence works, much like the way evidence works in criminal prosecutions, it’s rare that a single piece of evidence is the one that you can say that’s what we’re basing proof on or that’s what we’re basing our conviction on. It’s a mosaic. It’s all kinds of information that rolls in together.”

While Rand Paul and his merry band of libertarian followers — which no doubt includes former devotees of his father Ron Paul — would rather trash the PATRIOT Act in its entirety without considering alternatives, ISIS is growing and warning that ‘there is no safety for any American on the globe.’ In a recent video, the terror army stated,

“America thinks it’s safe because of the geographical location.

Thus you see it invades the Muslim lands, and it thinks that the army of the Jihad won’t reach in their lands.

‘But the dream of the American to have safety became a mirage. Today there is no safety for any American on the globe.”

Ah, but the Paul supporters will no doubt parrot the well-worn Ben Franklin adage, “Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither.”

Except that they’re misguided about that quote. Franklin wrote those words in a 1755 letter about taxes and raising money. That quote has nothing to do with national security. And furthermore, terrorists don’t care.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

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  • Proof says:

    John Bolton was discussing Mr. Paul this AM:
    ‘He’s flatly wrong & I don’t think he’d recognize the framers of the Constitution if he ran into them in the hallway.’

    ‘If Rand Paul stands in the way of getting the Freedom USA act passed today… it will be an act of consummate irresponsibility.”

    • Kim Quade says:

      John Bolton — never one to mince words.

      Thank you for providing that.

    • Jodi G. says:

      I respectfully disagree.

      If it violates the 4th, it needs to go. Succeeding POTUS’es will always take advantage of any opening. BO is a prime example of this. Do we need security? Of course. But not at the expense of our civil liberties where progressives will continue to erode them, with our blessing. If BO and Congress were serious about national security, they’d secure the damned border and annihilate ISIS. They’re doing neither. Why did the Boston bombers slip thru? Why did the Garland jihadists slip thru. All were on the radar. None were surveilled. Or stopped.

  • Meh. To me it does not matter whether the Patriot Act stays or goes. The present administration (and the future Clinton administration which is almost certain to win in 2016) thinks people who want to cut taxes and government spending are real enemies of the State, and don’t give a hoot in Hades about ISIS or other Islamofascists. Remember how the MSM/DNC axis went after the victims of the recent ISIS terrorist attack in Texas?

    With or without the Patriot Act Democrats will continue to shred the Constitution in order to punish “racists”. And – let’s be honest – the Vichy Republicans who are running the House and Senate are just as bad as Democrats.

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