“Will we be sunshine patriots, or will we stand up like free men and women?”
Nov 21, 2013
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has issued an impassioned video address, slamming the surveillance state and demanding that freedom be restored.
“We were once outraged and dismayed and spurred to resist when British soldiers came knocking at our door with illegitimate warrants seeking taxes on our papers,” the Senator notes, citing the American Revolution.
“Today, your government responds that there is no expectation of privacy once you consign your records to a third party,” Paul continues.
“Your government argues that the Fourth Amendment applies not at all to your bank records, your Visa bill, your internet searches or purchases or emails. If not resistance, shouldn’t there at least be outrage?” the Senator urges.
Adding that Orwell’s 1984 needn’t even be imagined in order to be alarmed, the Senator continued, “Imagine for a moment what information could be gathered from your Visa bill,” he added, pointing to personal information pertaining to health and even politics.
“Are we so afraid of terrorists that we are willing to give up the very freedoms that separate us from them?” Paul asked.
Citing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Paul points to pro-surveillance state representatives noting “The surveillance state was made to disappear through the legerdemain of defining it out of existence.”
Comparing this to a scene from The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, the Senator states “Kundera captures the heart of the debate: the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting…against allowing the state to define away its usurpations.”
“Will we allow defenders of the surveillance state to airbrush history and define away the notion of spying? Will we sit idly by as our expectation of freedom is defined downward?” Paul asks.
“Will we be sunshine patriots, or will we stand up like free men and women and say, ‘Enough is enough, we want our freedoms back’?” the Senator concludes.
Paul’s call to action comes in the wake of yet more NSA revelations detailing how widespread and expansive the surveillance net has become, extending to UK citizens far beyond the scope of cooperation exercised by the British government.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation has compiled a searchable compendium of the released NSA spying documents, bringing together the flood of information released by newspapers and the government into one resource.
Meanwhile, Senators Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Martin Heinrich are seeking to file an amicus brief in the EFF’s lawsuit against the NSA, concerning the bulk collection of metadata from all phone calls.
The Senators contend that there is no evidence that the bulk data collection program has been of any use. The filing states:
Now that the government’s bulk call-records program has been exposed, the government has defended it vigorously. Amici submit this brief to respond to the government’s claim, which it is expected to repeat in this suit, that its collection of bulk call records is necessary to defend the nation against terrorist attacks. Amici make one central point: As members of the committee charged with overseeing the National Security Agency’s surveillance, Amici have reviewed this surveillance extensively and have seen no evidence that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records has provided any intelligence of value that could not have been gathered through less intrusive means. The government has at its disposal a number of authorities that allow it to obtain the call records of suspected terrorists and those in contact with suspected terrorists. It appears to Amici that these more targeted authorities could have been used to obtain the information that the government has publicly claimed was crucial in a few important counterterrorism cases.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.