Most people in the United States have a hard time believing that the National Security Agency reforms President Barack Obama announced earlier in the month or any number of Congressional inquiries will do anything to protect Americans’ privacy from government spies. So Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is proposing that the government system of checks and balances be used as it is designed, to allow for a Supreme Court review of the NSA’s tactics.
“I think the constitutionality of these programs needs to be questioned, and there needs to be a Supreme Court decision that looks at whether what they are doing is constitutional or not,” Paul said Sunday on FOX News.
Paul was speaking on the news network following The Washington Post’s publishing of a new Edward Snowden sourced report that detailed how the NSA breaks privacy rules and oversteps its legal authority thousands of times per year.
Paul contends that allowing NSA to operate in a manner that is totally unConstitutional evidences Obama’s lack of understanding of government checks and balances.
“The checks and balances are supposed to come from independent branches of government,” Paul said. “So he thinks that if gets some lawyers together from the NSA, and they do a powerpoint presentation and tell him everything’s ok, that the NSA can police itself.”
Furthermore, Paul said, the President and Congress cannot be trusted to fix the problem as long as they are deliberately misleading the public about the scope of the NSA programs.
“They chose not to report the program, period,” Paul said. “They said they weren’t looking at any American data or any phone calls, and it turns out they’re looking at billions of phone calls every day.”
Paul said that the only way to make sure the NSA doesn’t abuse its surveillance power is for a discussion led by people who are more skeptical of the NSA than the intelligence insiders currently acting as placebo watchdogs to take place before an open court. The Senator added that he thinks the Supreme Court would be the best option.