Ron Paul: Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

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This article, written by Former Congressman Ron Paul, first appeared at the-free-foundation.org, the temporary home for his weekly column until his personal web page is up and running.

In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion.

This complacency has suddenly shifted given recent revelations of the extent of government spying on Americans. Politicians and bureaucrats are faced with serious backlash from Americans outraged that their most personal communications are intercepted and stored. They had been told that only the terrorists would be monitored. In response to this anger, defenders of the program have time and again resorted to spreading lies and distortions. But these untruths are now being exposed very quickly.

In a Senate hearing this March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senator Ron Wyden that the NSA did not collect phone records of millions of Americans. This was just three months before the revelations of an NSA leaker made it clear that Clapper was not telling the truth. Pressed on his false testimony before Congress, Clapper apologized for giving an “erroneous” answer but claimed it was just because he “simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.” Wow.

As the story broke in June of the extent of warrantless NSA spying against Americans, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers assured us that the project was a strictly limited and not invasive. He described it as a “lockbox with only phone numbers, no names, no addresses in it, we’ve used it sparingly, it is absolutely overseen by the legislature, the judicial branch and the executive branch, has lots of protections built in…”

But we soon discovered that also was not true either. We learned in another Guardian newspaper article last week that the top secret “X-Keyscore” program allows even low-level analysts to “search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.”

The keys to Rogers’ “lockbox” seem to have been handed out to everyone but the janitors! As Chairman of the Committee that is supposed to be most in the loop on these matters, it seems either the Intelligence Community misled him about their programs or he misled the rest of us. It sure would be nice to know which one it is.

Likewise, Rep. Rogers and many other defenders of the NSA spying program promised us that this dragnet scooping up the personal electronic communications of millions of Americans had already stopped “dozens” of terrorist plots against the United States. In June, NSA director General Keith Alexander claimed that the just-disclosed bulk collection of Americans’ phone and other electronic records had “foiled 50 terror plots.”

Opponents of the program were to be charged with being unconcerned with our security.

But none of it was true.

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday heard dramatic testimony from NSA deputy director John C. Inglis. According to the Guardian:

“The NSA has previously claimed that 54 terrorist plots had been disrupted ‘over the lifetime’ of the bulk phone records collection and the separate program collecting the internet habits and communications of people believed to be non-Americans. On Wednesday, Inglis said that at most one plot might have been disrupted by the bulk phone records collection alone.”

From dozens to “at most one”?

Supporters of these programs are now on the defensive, with several competing pieces of legislation in the House and Senate seeking to rein in an administration and intelligence apparatus that is clearly out of control. This is to be commended. What is even more important, though, is for more and more and more Americans to educate themselves about our precious liberties and to demand that their government abide by the Constitution. We do not have to accept being lied to – or spied on — by our government.

Personal Liberty

Ron Paul

Former Representative Ron Paul has maintained a steadfast consistency in speaking out against executive power, taxation and war. Unlike many of his Republican peers, as a Congressman, he voted against the Patriot Act and against the Iraq war. He has voted against farm subsidies and regulating the Internet, which is in line with his interest in reducing government spending and the role of the Federal government. Paul has also expressed his opposition to the war on drugs, saying that the government's efforts have actually been a war on doctors. These and other controversial opinions have often caused tension with his Republican counterparts. Paul is the author of many books, including End The Fed, Liberty Defined and Revolution: A Manifesto. Along with a lengthy political career as a Congressman and Presidential candidate, Paul has also worked as a respected obstetrician in his home State of Texas. Since his retirement from Congress in 2013, Paul has stayed busy encouraging Americans to fight for liberty by founding the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and his own news channel.

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  • Joe C

    One of the job prerequisites for being a gubment official is the ability to lie through your teeth with a straight face. I can only wonder when the straw will come along that breaks the camel’s back and WE THE PEOPLE remove this de facto regime that has been plagueing us for the last 100+ years.

    • praguespring

      thanks joe c- ck

    • MarleneMoulthrop

      Be nice to use the constitution and amendments as historical artifacts and start over examining every law, act, bill agency, regulation etc. Never happen; they can’t even pass one new bill.

      • http://socialsity.com/ LastGasp

        And just who is going to do this? Leave our Constitution alone! Go back to your masters and tell them you failed.

    • MarleneMoulthrop

      Be nice to use the constitution and amendments as historical artifacts and start over examining every law, act, bill agency, regulation etc. Never happen; they can’t even pass one new bill.

  • Bill Moore

    Hello,

    Thank you, Ron Paul for the info, all in one place.

    I look forward to your next article,
    Bill Moore

    • MarleneMoulthrop

      Ron Paul lives in an imaginary world.

      • Elton Robb

        If Ron Paul lives in an imaginary world, I’d hate to know what yours is like.

        • chris

          This admistration loves people like you as there being led to the slaughyer

          • Elton Robb

            I don’t think so. I have advance warning coming. It’s the rest of my family who will be led to the slaughter. LITERALLY!

      • TheOriginalDaveH

        You live in an imaginary world, Marlene. You really should do something about that.
        Maybe read this for starters:
        http://mises.org/Books/historyofmoney.pdf

  • vicki

    Many think that the American people are but children in need of adult supervision.

    The OP writes:
    “Politicians and bureaucrats are faced with serious backlash from
    Americans outraged that their most personal communications are
    intercepted and stored. They had been told that only the terrorists
    would be monitored.”

    Only children would accept the promise that only the terrorists would be monitored. For indeed to monitor the terrorists you first have to find them. To find them you have to monitor everyone.

    So now comes the question.
    Were Americans really as children, so easily distracted from reality?
    Or
    Were Politicians and bureaucrats so full of hubris as to believe the American people were too childlike to see the obvious false claim that ONLY terrorists would be monitored?

    • MarleneMoulthrop

      I really think many had the sense to know it was going to go further. People haven’t forgotten 9/11, and at present, al-Queda is researching ways to get bombs on planes. Open thine ears and eyes.

      • TheOriginalDaveH

        You’ve been heavily Propagandized, Marlene. Take two aspirin and get some rest.
        Then read this:
        http://library.mises.org/books/John%20V%20Denson/A%20Century%20of%20War%20Lincoln,%20Wilson%20and%20Roosevelt.pdf

      • http://socialsity.com/ LastGasp

        “If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it… In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
        Edward Bernays

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    I agree with Ron Paul. Start proceedings to remove the liars! Revoke any government pensions, health care and anything else the taxpayers will be paying for! Impeach the Muslim in the Oval Office and all his cronies! Including Senators, Representatives, Congresspeople, CIA, FBI etc., etc., ANYONE WHO LIED when asked about this! IT IS TIME TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!

  • Ranger70

    How impeccable the timing of the closing of the Mid East embassy’s is with the need to again scare the American people into thinking we are in danger and they can continue their illegal and unconstitutional spying on us, and hoping we will forget all the controversy surrounding the administration. Just another false flag to take the heat off. Perhaps if they had gone in and taken out the radicals that went after Benghazi in the middle of the attack maybe they would think twice about attacking again. Instead the American people are the enemy? Well guess what. It is going to become true. We are sick and tired of the lip service the congress pays to us and the lies form O, Holder, Clinton, and on and on….

  • Ranger70

    How impeccable the timing of the closing of the Mid East embassy’s is with the need to again scare the American people into thinking we are in danger and they can continue their illegal and unconstitutional spying on us, and hoping we will forget all the controversy surrounding the administration. Just another false flag to take the heat off. Perhaps if they had gone in and taken out the radicals that went after Benghazi in the middle of the attack maybe they would think twice about attacking again. Instead the American people are the enemy? Well guess what. It is going to become true. We are sick and tired of the lip service the congress pays to us and the lies form O, Holder, Clinton, and on and on….

  • chrisnj

    Defenders will say that all of this was started by Bush or Reagan or some other Republican. The truth is that while the hole in the dike may have been drilled in those days, Obama and his minions have taken a jackhammer to the hole.

    All powers given to government will be abused, and Obama has been perhaps the most shamelessly abusive president ever (until Hillary is given her unqualified turn at bat – god help us).

    This ain’t the roach motel folks. What has been usurped by the parasites in Washington can be taken back but it will require strength and courage from all of us to drive the jackals back into the darkness from whence they slunk.

    You can work at the local and state level to “just say no” to a federal government trying to operate outside their constitutional limits. It’s called nullification and in spite of what the establishment politicians want you to believe, the agents of the people (government, including the courts) do not get to determine the extent or limits of their own powers.

    There is no moral obligation to obey an illegal law – and perhaps 80% of what the federal government does and spends today is totally outside it’s limited and enumerated powers.

    Just say no – it ends here. You don’t have to be a sheep in this den of wolves.

    • Deerinwater

      I think that any government agency has this inherent desire to justify it’s self and compete with other government agencies for budget funding.

      Now you seems to be willing to lay this characteristic at a single man’s door.

      While being a cautious man, ~and the pending threat being seen as we perceive it today, little to no doubt the NSA had much to offer at every morning security briefing to justify the need for it ‘s existence.

      While W was afforded the credit that America was not attacked again after 9-11, ~ praised for what “didn’t happen” , you and many other’s are not offering Obama the same.

      And of course, America has experience various sorts of Muslim criminal attacks since then with HLS and NSA in place. ~ We’ve had underwear bombers, shoe bombers, ~ Manchurian Candidate type sleepers in the guise of career US military soldiers and Young Muslim immigrants students break bad and decide killing US citizens in Boston might farther their cause , This just the few attacks that I know of personally and little doubt there are more that i don’t know of.

      So ~ clearly ~ the threat is real. ~ The question is , ~ is NAS ~ doing what we would expect it too do and a what cost to the freedom of privacy is this security seen as too high?

      Big business ~ supplies government with what it needs ~ and regards of who’s telling you otherwise ~ One hand washes the other. So unless you are and can live off the radar. ~ You have no secrets.

  • Deerinwater

    Well? ~ I don’t guess “I told you so” ~ is not the kind of talk we need now.

    I will vote for the first candidate that promises me all NSA activity’s are suspended , the office defunded ~ and immigration for middle easterners ~ is addressed with the scrutiny that it deserves. While demanding better tools and and results from the CIA and the FBI. ~ One incident ~ and heads roll. ~ no second chances. ~ Top Government Security jobs ~ can have the live of perishable fruit. ~ Until we get some men and women worthy of this critical position.

    And I want to see a suggest box ! ~ I want to see low level employee’s have a place to register their input without fear of retribution. .

  • William James Ward

    NSA wants to know all of our correspondence and what we are
    thinking and doing. Amazing that it is forbidden to profile, and
    Islamist shows up at and airport with knife, gun and bomb in
    turban and robes but to say anything would be against PC.
    The five year old must be hiding something in the cookie
    bag, strip search and water board the little monster and
    report him to Obama. …………Insanity, it is all insanity.
    William

  • Gary L. Contreras

    Bend over and grab your ankles people…..all of this miss-direction of attention is going to hurt the ol butt for quite some time if WE THE PEOPLE don’t get off the couch and do something about this and quickly. THEY ALL NEED TO GO. WE NEED A CLEANSING of our gov. Thank you Dr. Paul and by the way I have voted for you every time you ran.

  • TheOriginalDaveH

    Ron says — “most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought”.
    That’s giving them the benefit of the doubt.
    More likely was that they were happy to have the chance to take more Freedom and gain more Power.

  • villageidiot

    The intelligence community lied to Rogers and he then, knowingly or otherwise lied to us, but then Inglis compounded the situation by declaring that 54 disruptions were in reality at least only 1!,,,, and these grossly deviant leaders of our communities expect us to be in complete harmony as to their virtues! Are they serious or do they really believe that continual lying will prevent the truth from being revealed?
    Are they nuts or are we nuts?

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    Each of us is a responsible advocate for the truth, as he/she understands it.

    Thus, my message to the Congressional Space Science Committee

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Creator_Destroyer_Sustainer_of_Life.pdf

    Being a responsible advocate for the truth is all we can do.

    There is NOTHING WE CAN DO if politicians prefer to base policies on misinformation because outright lies will, for example, bring in more taxes. See Steven Goddard’s recent “Summary Of The State Of Global Warming Science:”

    http://wp.me/pPrQ9-mJS

    With deep regrets,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  • Maynard

    The dangers to our Constitution came in force when JFK was assassinated and the Gulf of Tonkin Lie was used to escalate the Viet Nam war making billions for the military-industrial complex while costing over 50,999 solders their lives and many more were mental and physical casualties. That is not to mention the Vietnamese who were killed. Has North Viet Nam proved to be a threat? No, even though they control what used to be South Viet Nam as well. Every President with the possible exceptions of Carter and Reagan were in on the game of advancing the military-industrial complex. Reagan was taken out of the loop when he was almost killed by George Bush’s friend and campaign supporter’s son. Bush lied and claimed he did not know the family. This lie alone shows his complicity. After that he called the shots and Reagan was merely a spokesperson. All the president’s since know what could happen to them if they do not play ball. Obama said he would veto NDAA 2012 but after some behind the scenes “persuasion” he signed it. It gives the government the unconstitutional power to arrest us and throw us in jail indefinitely without a trial. You can blame it all on Obama but the puppet masters control all major politicians and pull tricks and false flags to keep the sheeple backing their wars for profit.

  • Thomas Bostock

    I begin my emails and phone calls now with “did you get that NSA?