Please Stop Attacking Rand PaulSubmitted by The Outsider on Sun, 01/12/2014 - 12:40
Rand Paul is right.
I see so many posts in the Libertarian community who seemingly disapprove of Rand Paul and his position on many subjects—most recently Edward Snowden.
Are we so blind that we can’t see that he is on our side? Do we not realize that in order to have a chance at restoring liberty in this country that it has to be a slow—calculated process? There must be small course corrections, not major course reversals. It seems to me that we are smarter than that. To think that all that has been done over the course of many years can be reversed all at once is a fantasy. Just because there are many of us who know how off course we really are, doesn’t mean we can effortlessly convince the rest of society to get on board with our way of thinking—no matter how natural it feels to us.
Take into account the recent attacks on Senator Paul by the WSJ, and his response to the opinion. Senator Paul is being attacked from all sides. Some say he is calling Edward Snowden a hero. On the Libertarian side, some say he isn’t “one of us” because he stated Snowden should be tried in court for breaking the law.
It is a matter of opinion whether or not Snowden is a hero—Snowden is a true American hero in my opinion—However, Senator Paul does not have the luxury of stating his opinion without alienating voters who don’t agree with him based on their current level of political understanding. He does however, have the duty and obligation of following the law and upholding his oath of office.
Senator Paul has stated that Edward Snowden should be tried in a court. He also has stated that Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, should also be tried for his false testimony during a Congressional hearing—Senator Paul has been attacked for both statements. What seems to have been lost in the discussion is what exactly are Senator Paul’s statements based on? I believe they are based on a respect for the law and respect for our constitution and way of life.
If we as a society are to prosecute law-breakers, then is it not a requirement that the law be applied equally to all, or are we to only prosecute select individuals based on their status or position in society? Senator Paul is simply bringing to light the hypocrisy of the current system of justice. In a nation of laws-how can it be that an admitted perjurer (under oath to congress no less) is not being subject to the same scrutiny as Mr. Snowden?
It has been stated by some, that the issue of whether or not the government has broken laws in this matter is far from settled. I disagree wholeheartedly—and most reading this will most likely agree that the US Government has blatantly broken the law of the land.
The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. According to Wikipedia, the amendment was adopted in response to the abuses of the “writ of assistance,” which was a general search warrant issued by the British government.
Does the NSA, or government in general have probable cause to “seize” or “search” the phone or internet records of 400 million of its citizens? Does the NDAA or the Patriot Act supersede the US Constitution?
The answer is no, they do not.
The programs are not “perfectly legal and overseen by the courts and Congress,” as some have said. The "programs" as they are called, are overseen by a secret court—the FISA Court, whose hearings are closed to the public, and whose members are appointed. The Court subverts the US Constitution and all legitimate courts for the sole purpose of “rubberstamping” search warrants that would otherwise not be granted by a standard court.
Furthermore, the secrecy—and for that matter the very existence of the court—is in direct conflict with the Supreme law of the land. No amount of legislation passed by a congress (who, might I add, also does not abide by their oath of office) can legitimize or make legal, spying on the American public.
If we are to make spying on Americans legal, then the correct course of action would be to amend the Constitution through the proper channels, not passing legislation to get around it. Just as Senator Paul has suggested that Edward Snowden stand trial in a legitimate court, constituting a jury of his peers—so too should the US Government and those individuals representing it.
It seems to me that Senator Paul knows exactly what he is doing. He has learned how this all-too-serious game must be played in order to have a chance at restoring constitutional government to its former glory. He must appeal not just to Libertarians, but to establishment Conservatives as well if he has a chance to win the Presidency.
A nomination is not enough and he understands that.
It is up to us to see the bigger picture and get on board with him. We need to realize that we allowed our constitutional republic to be stolen from us (and by us, I mean ALL Americans (black/white, conservatives/liberals, gay/straight, male/female) over the course of many years, and it will be a painful and lengthy process to get it back.
Regarding the specific example cited in this article, of trying Snowden or Clapper…
Until such time as the corrupt justice system returns to its constitutional—and lawful roots, there should be no trial for either Edward Snowden or James Clapper. Not for fear of injustice though, for in the end, Snowden would most likely be vindicated in a legitimate court of law, and James Clapper would be convicted of Perjury.
In a United States of America, with Rand Paul as president, I would be comfortable knowing the law would be applied justly and correctly. This should comfort the Edward Snowden’s of America and strike fear in the individuals who corrupt and subvert our constitution and way of life.
The preceding was a "Tangential" response to Rand Paul's editorial submitted to the Wall Street Journal, and various comments posted in response to it...