Sunday, February 15, 2015

Marco Rubio Calls for Permanent USA PATRIOT Act


The ambitious and cunning Florida Senator Marco Rubio is going to hang his 2016 long shot presidential hopes on the National Security State. When you have nothing to sell in post 9/11 America you can always peddle fear and it always works. Rubio came out in favor of making the USA PATRIOT Act permanent in a FOX News oped piece last month but is being challenged by those who are concerned over our ongoing loss of civil liberties. One prominent critic of Rubio's terrorism gambit is the conservative organization Freedom Works that was a big backer of the Tea Party movement.

While Freedom Works did give Little Ricky credit for some of his more positive attributes they drew a line at the young stud's support for a permanent surveillance state. According to the organization's website:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is one of the best in the upper chamber when it comes to budget and spending issues, earning high marks in 2013 and 2014 on FreedomWorks' congressional scorecard. He's also expanding the reach of the Republican Party with his youthfulness and pop culture savvy.

The Florida Republican has, however, been among the most vocal defenders of the National Security Agency and the surveillance state. In an op-ed published on Wednesday at FoxNews.com, Rubio, invoking 9/11 and recent activities of the Islamic State, called on his colleagues on Capitol Hill to permanently extend Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, one of the law's most controversial provisions.

"This year, a new Republican majority in both houses of Congress will have to extend current authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and I urge my colleagues to consider a permanent extension of the counterterrorism tools our intelligence community relies on to keep the American people safe."

Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make it easier for intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies to access third-party records related to investigations in suspected terrorist activity. This provision, though, has been used by the NSA as the legal justification to spy on Americans through the bulk collection of phone metadata. In the NSA's view, or so it seems, every American is a suspected terrorist.

Freedom Works has been vilified by Democrats as just another front for the evil Koch Brothers who have effectively become bogeymen as well as drivers of liberal fundraising campaigns. The Koch connection to Freedom Works has always been nebulous at best but any organization that is calling out supporters of the PATRIOT Act is working in the best interests of America. This abomination was rammed through Congress in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and despite the original sunset provisions continues to be renewed. Rubio, like the others who have suckled high off the teat of the bloated Global War on Terror money machine never hesitate to launch into demagoguery of the worst type to serve their own self-interests rather than honor the U.S. Constitution.

Senator Rubio is a desperate man so expect to see more of this type of crap coming out of his campaign media operation going forward. He also has close ties to the McCain-Graham-Ayotte Axis of fascist big government and his Hispanic identity makes him a potential vice presidential pick. While there are really are truly very bad people out there who really do hate us all,  guys like Rubio are acting as their defacto agents when it comes to destroying this once great country from within. I can't believe that anyone would have a problem with the feds conducting their surveillance of the "bad guys" but there needs to be necessary protections for law-abiding Americans and they really do not exist at this point.

It is also good to see that at least a few principled members of Congress are calling out Rubio over his obviously politically motivated support of domestic repression. Michigan Congressman Justin Amash has also blasted Florida's junior Senator as reported by the libertarian website Reason online:

Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) threw some shade at Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) today over the latter's support for permanently reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

The congressman was asked during a panel at the 2015 International Students for Liberty Conference, happening now in Washington, D.C., how he felt about the idea that Congress should "rubberstamp" reauthorization of the controversial law. Amash responded: "I think it's embarrassing to say things like that. It reflects a lack of awareness of what the American people think and what the Constitution says. And if [Rubio] thinks that that is the future of the Republican Party, he is very wrong."

Amash said the GOP's job is to stand for liberty, protect people's rights, and curb corporate welfare, adding, "I think we have a great group of people who are pushing the country in the right direction. And we've got some people like Sen. Rubio who want to take us backward, and move the party in the wrong direction, and make it into a very small party."

You have to hand it to guys like Justin Amash and organizations like Freedom Works, at least they are trying to do something about our increasingly dwindling freedoms unlike the Democrat and Republican establishments. To this day there has NEVER been a serious debate about how exactly to balance off the trading of liberty for security in the new American century and the technological age. As long as there are charlatans like Marco Rubio trafficking in the politics of fear there never will be one either.

Not that I am throwing in with the Koch Brothers who are doing their damned level best to buy the entire system but were the system not so completely corrupted already it would not be up for sale.