Desperately trying to remain relevant as he sinks in the polls, the amazing shrinking candidate Rand Paul has vowed to close down that massive NSA data storage center in Utah if he becomes president. Paul has proven to be an enormous disappointment to many who saw in him someone who would take a stand to restore our lost civil liberties and reign in the American Stasi and the surveillance of millions of law-abiding Americans. At this point it is hard to believe anything that comes out of Senator Paul’s mouth because he has spent all of his once bountiful political capital by flip-flopping, compromising and engaging in acts of Clintonian triangulation to the point where it is hard to tell where he stands on anything anymore.
Paul’s comments were reported by the website The Inquisitr in the story “Rand Paul Promises to Shut Down NSA Data Center if He Becomes President”:
Republican Senator Rand Paul has been one of the few vocal critics of the U.S. government’s spying programs. He’s the only presidential candidate that has made NSA spying a central topic of their campaign.
NSA spying is so important to Rand that he’s promised to shut down the NSA data center if he becomes president. After he stops the indiscriminate collection of Americans’ data, he’ll convert the data center into a “Constitutional Center” where the Fourth Amendment will be studied.
“I’m on my way to the airport, but we decided to stop by the NSA facility in Utah. When I become President, we’ll convert it into a Constitutional Center to study the Fourth Amendment! Bulk data collection must end!”
Questions of whether the spying programs were unconstitutional have been swirling since 2013 when Edward Snowden made details about the programs public. Snowden is the NSA contractor who copied large amounts of classified documents onto a thumbdrive and leaked the information to journalists.
For those that are bothered by the NSA spying programs, Paul seems to be the only candidate that would work to stop it. For the Senator, it’s a major problem that affects virtually all Americans.
Last year, Paul filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. Paul hoped that his class-action lawsuit would bring the issue of bulk collection of phone records to the Supreme Court.
Paul also staged a filibuster to delay the renewing of the Patriot Act, which authorizes bulk data collection. He was only partially successful in his efforts. While Congress decided to let the Patriot Act expire, they replaced it will a very similar bill. The new bill, the USA Freedom Act, put a few more restrictions on how the government conducts its spying.
The federal government's snooping on Americans is indeed a travesty and a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment but it isn’t going away – especially after a federal appeals court just put the kibosh on a lawsuit brought against it's illegal spying on a technicality. The game is rigged and when it comes to controlling the NSA the horse has long since run off and it’s too late to close the barn door now.
Talk is cheap, especially to Rand Paul who continues to be a disappointment to those who supported his father who was a man of deeply held principles unlike his flaky son with the hairdo that resembles Woodstock's nest. You can file this latest one of his promises under the moon is made out of green cheese category.