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Showing posts with label Rand Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rand Paul. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It’s Time to Take the Car Keys from Lindsey Graham and John McCain

From United Liberty

John McCain and Lindsey Graham

It happens in every family at some point. Grandpa has been driving for so much of his life, but as he becomes unsafe behind the wheel, the kids have to step in and take away his car keys.

More often than not, he’ll resist. He wants to control his life, though he doesn’t see the danger he causes when he’s driving. The family has to step in with a bit of an intervention, and Grandpa has to be forced usual space in the driver’s seat.

The Republican Party is in a similar situation. Grandpas McCain and Graham are growing increasingly dangerous behind the wheel of the Party every day. They’ve been driving things in the Party too long, and their reckless behavior puts the Party in jeopardy.

Who Speaks Now for the GOP?

By Patrick J. Buchanan 

Last Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul rose on the Senate floor to declare a filibuster and pledge he would not sit down until either he could speak no longer or got an answer to his question about Barack Obama’s war powers.

Does the president, Paul demanded to know, in the absence of an imminent threat, have the right to order U.S. citizens killed by drone strike on U.S. soil?

By the time he sat down, 13 hours later, Paul had advanced to the front rank of candidates for 2016, and established himself as a foreign policy leader whose views must be consulted equally with those of John McCain.

How did he pull this off?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gowdy Supports Reauthorization of Patriot Act

 Updated Monday evening, 2/15/11

We were very pleased to learn this evening that Representative Gowdy shares our concerns about many aspects of The Patriot Act.  We failed to make clear in our earlier post that because the Patriot Act is due to expire in the next several weeks, the Congress temporarily reauthorized only three of the more benign provisions of the Act, one of which pertains only to foreign nationals.

Congressman Gowdy has assured us that extensive oversight hearings will be held as early as March and that he and many Members of Congress will be eager to hear the views of their constituents to ensure that it in no way violates the Constitution of the United States.

The Congressman has kindly provided the following summary of the three provisions that have been temporarily reauthorized.  We look forward to following this issue closely in the months ahead.
The three provisions set for review, oversight and potential reauthorization are (1) the Lone Wolf Provision, (2) the Roving Wiretap Provision and (3) the Business Records Provision.  

The constitutionality of the Lone Wolf and Roving Wiretap Provisions has never been challenged.  The Business Records Provision was more controversial, and has been amended to address those concerns.  The USA PATRIOT Act actually erects additional safeguards in national security cases that do not exist in other categories of criminal conduct.  These additional layers of constitutional protection require more oversight and scrutiny than the garden-variety drug cases I investigated as a federal prosecutor.

1)  Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (Lone Wolf Provision) – This provision allows law enforcement to conduct surveillance on non-U.S. citizens who act as  “lone wolves” without ties to an organized terror group or foreign power.  The United States faces varying threats to our safety, and national security agents must have the tools to prevent attacks planned by non-U.S. citizens acting outside the structure of an organized enemy. 

2)  Section 206 of the Patriot Act (Roving Wiretap Provision) – The roving wiretap tool has been available to law enforcement since 1986.  It allows for law enforcement agents, after proving probable cause on an initial warrant, to extend that warrant to other communications devices used by a suspect.  Instead of having to procure individual warrants on each device, which in the age of disposable phones can number in the thousands, this provision prevents suspects from evading surveillance by using multiple devices.  The provision also requires continuous monitoring by the FISA court and detailed reporting by law enforcement officers.

3)  Section 215 of the Patriot Act (Business Records Provision) – Business records are routinely sought and obtained in domestic investigations through the use of subpoenas, a practice I participated in countless times during my years in law enforcement.  This provision goes a step further, requiring FISA court approval to obtain third-party information, NOT personal documents.

H.R. 514 only covers these three provisions, and is merely a temporary reauthorization through the end of the year.  By voting for temporary reauthorization, we are ensuring our law enforcement agents have the necessary tools to keep our country safe from attack, while at the same time providing for a thorough examination of the law.  Instead of rushing legislation through behind closed doors without proper oversight, this measure sets the stage for meaningful hearings to address any civil liberties concerns.

I have personally approached Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (the original author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Representative Lamar Smith (Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) urging them to conduct oversight hearings as soon as possible on the reauthorization of the three PATRIOT Act provisions set to expire at the end of 2011.  I have been assured these hearings will occur, and expect to be an active participant in the process by asking tough questions and expecting candid responses.

We acknowledge the need to provide oversight in all aspects of government, including law enforcement and national security.  I look forward to full, frank and fair debate on all aspects of the reauthorization in an open forum, with the public as an active partner in the oversight process.
. . . .

Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who was nominated and elected on a wave of revulsion to the liberal voting record of his Republican predecessor, joined Democrats in reauthorizing the misnamed Patriot Act.

Prior to last weeks vote extending the Patriot Act, we contacted Gowdy's office by phone and E-mail to express our strong disapproval of this unconstitutional intrusion into the rights and freedoms of American citizens.  When reauthorization of the Act failed under previous rules, the House changed the rules to allow reauthorization with a simple majority vote.  We received the following response from Congressman Gowdy:

February 15, 2011

Dear Mr. Cassidy:

Thank you for contacting me about the temporary renewal of three provisions from the USA PATRIOT Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act ("IRTP Act"). I value your thoughts and appreciate the opportunity to respond.

The PATRIOT Act erects additional safeguards in national security cases that do not exist in other categories of criminal conduct. These additional layers of constitutional protection require more oversight and scrutiny than the garden-variety drug cases I investigated as a federal prosecutor. For these reasons, I voted to support H.R. 514.

Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the Business Records Provision, allows the FBI to request the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court ("FISA Court") to access third party items relevant to international terrorism cases. Gathering business records is routine in investigations, and this provision requires that these items only be obtained with the approval of a FISA Court judge who is appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States and well versed in constitutional and criminal law.

Section 206 of the PATRIOT Act, the Roving Wiretap Provision, authorizes the use of multipoint wiretaps, a tool employed by law enforcement since 1986. This provision allows the government, with the approval of a FISA Court judge, to use a single wiretap to cover any communications device used by a terrorism suspect. With out this authority, investigators would need to receive approval from a FISA judge to conduct surveillance each time a terrorism suspect uses a different cell phone or computer, allowing terrorists to evade detection by using multiple devices.

Section 6001 of the IRTP Act, the Lone Wolf Provision, allows the government to conduct surveillance on individuals without ties to an organized terror group or foreign power. This provision can only be used to conduct surveillance on people who are not U.S. citizens, and ensures that terrorists who work on their own will not escape surveillance and detection.

H.R. 514 extended these provisions temporarily through December 2011, ensuring law enforcement has the tools needed to keep our country safe, while allowing for a thorough examination of the PATRIOT Act. Congress will be considering these issues in the coming months as it looks at a more permanent reauthorization, and I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress looks to strike the appropriate balance between protecting American citizens while ensuring civil liberties are respected. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have specific questions or concerns about these provisions that you would like us to examine in this process.

Thank you again for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to do so in the future. It is an honor to serve you and the 4th Congressional District.


Trey Gowdy
Member of Congress