Kentucky senator Rand Paul is no stranger to long filibusters. He proved that with his 13 hour filibuster on the new director of the CIA John Brennan, and he did it again last week with a 10+ hour long Patriot Act filibuster.
Last Wednesday, Paul was clearly in control of the Senate floor, as he criticized the U.S. government for its NSA surveillance program. We highlighted key points from his Patriot Act filibuster below.
Speaking about the Patriot Act renewal, Paul said many things, but this quote in particular sums it up very nicely:
“There comes a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. That time is now. And I will not let the Patriot Act – the most unpatriotic of acts – go unchallenged.” (Politico)
Although Rand Paul’s filibuster is packed with great points, we’ve singled out three that really strike the core of the matter.
1. Warrants need to be individualized and not “collective”.
The main reason why Paul is against the Patriot Act renewal is because the act is used to justify (legally even) the fact that the government can collect bulk data on its own citizens. To make matters worse, they do this without specific warrants. Everyone who is a customer of Verizon (or any other phone company) becomes a potential criminal without being charged for an actual crime.
Paul says that this is against the Fourth Amendment and the nation’s tradition of individual rights.
2. Can we trust our government with this information? No!
Most folks don’t see the connection between civil forfeiture and government surveillance, but Paul made that link, and it is frightening.
Paul’s filibuster raises a very important question. How can we trust the government with our private information when they can use ‘legal’ loopholes to seize the money of citizens not even charged with a crime?
3. Remember it’s ‘innocent until proven guilty’.
The scariest thing about the whole NSA surveillance debacle is that the government has forgotten one of the most important and sacred principles in its criminal justice system: Innocent until proven guilty.
The fact that the NSA collects citizens’ phone records without restraint in the hopes of one of them maybe being a terrorist is a slap in the face of the American justice system.
Written by Vladimir Covic; Edited by staff
WATCH: The First Hour of Sen. Rand Paul’s Filibuster on PATRIOT Act Extension
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