Ron Paul: “If Spying On Senate Is So Bad, Why Is It OK For Them To Spy On Us?”

Submitted by Ron Paul of The Ron Paul Institute,

The reaction of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to last week’s revelations that the CIA secretly searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers reveals much about what the elites in government think about the rest of us. “Spy on thee, but not on me!”

The hypocrisy of Sen. Feinstein is astounding. She is the biggest backer of the NSA spying on the rest of us, but when the tables are turned and her staff is the target she becomes irate. But there is more to it than that. There is an attitude in Washington that the laws Congress passes do not apply to Members. They can trample our civil liberties, they believe, but it should never affect their own freedom.

Remember that much of this started when politicians rushed to past the PATRIOT Act after 9/11. Those of us who warned that such new powers granted to the state would be used against us someday were criticized as alarmist and worse. The violations happened just as we warned, but when political leaders discovered the breach of our civil liberties they did nothing about it. It was not until whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and others informed us of the abuses that the “debate” over surveillance that President Obama claimed to welcome could even begin to take place! Left to politicians like Dianne Feinstein, Mike Rogers, and President Obama, we would never have that debate because we would not know.

Washington does not care about our privacy. When serious violations are discovered they most often rush to protect the status quo instead of defending the Constitution. Senator Feinstein did just that as the NSA spying revelations began to create pressure on the Intelligence Community. Her NSA reform legislation was nothing but a smokescreen: under the guise of “reform” it would have codified in law the violations already taking place. When that fact became too obvious to deny, the Senate was forced to let the legislation die in the committee.

What is interesting, and buried in the accusations and denials, is that the alleged CIA monitoring was over an expected 6,000 page Senate Intelligence Committee report on the shameful and un-American recent CIA history of torture at the “gulag archipelago” of secret prisons it set up across the world after the attacks of 9/11. We can understand why the CIA might have been afraid of that information getting out.

When CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou exposed the CIA’s role in torturing prisoners he was sent to prison for nearly three years. But Senator Feinstein and her colleagues didn’t lift a finger to support him. So again you have the double standards and hypocrisy.

The essence of this problem has to do with the difficulty in managing the US empire. When the government behaves as an empire rather than as a republic, lying to the rest of us is permissible. They spy on everybody because they don’t trust anybody. The answer is obvious: rein in the CIA; remove its authority to conduct these kinds of covert actions. Rein in government. Lawmakers should not defend Fourth Amendment rights only when their staffs have been violated. They should do it all the time for all of us. The people’s branch of government must stand up for the people. Let’s hope that Sen. Feinstein has had her wake-up call and will now finally start defending the rest of us against a government that increasingly sees us as the enemy.

5 thoughts on “Ron Paul: “If Spying On Senate Is So Bad, Why Is It OK For Them To Spy On Us?””

  1. I have a question for our super sleuth SSS.

    I thought the CIA only operated internationally. You have always told us they do not spy domestically.

    What’s up with this?

  2. The CIA doesn’t spy domestically?

    Wanna buy a bridge?

    The CIA used the A-12 spy plane (predecessor to the SR-71) to spy on Americans back in the 60’s.

    There is no way in hell any sane man would believe that the CIA does not spy domestically. All that technology and capability and they’re only using it overseas? Mmm Hmm!

  3. From the CIA’s website:

    “Does the CIA spy on Americans? Does it keep a file on you?

    CIA’s mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting intelligence concerning the domestic activities of U.S. citizens. By direction of the President in Executive Order 12333, as amended, and in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General, the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against U.S. citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities. The CIA’s procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed, and, depending on the collection technique employed, the sanction of the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney General may be required. These restrictions on the CIA, or similar ones, have been in effect since the 1970s.”

    Note where it says that collection of intelligence against U.S. citizens is only allowed for authorized intelligence purposes. To me, that means we are all fair game to be spied on by these guys, since some secret court probably gets to decide who it’s ok to spy on. I don’t have any confidence that they are playing the game the way they say they are.

  4. OK, guys, I can speak with some authority. “A friend of mine” was a CIA operations officer for 27 years and never once heard of the CIA spying on Americans, with these exceptions: Americans spying for a foreign power, Americans linked to terrorism or other criminal activity, CIA employees under suspicion of something. The CIA may legally work against foreign nationals in the U.S., of course, or entities controlled by a foreign power, etc. I am rather amused by all the Americans so concerned about the CIA spying on them when in fact it is the FBI that is the domestic Gestapo. Further, the FBI is EXTREMELY jealous of its turf and would never tolerate any CIA action against Americans on U.S. soil that they did not control. The CIA, and especially its clandestine component, is about 20 times smaller than the FBI. There are many fewer CIA operations officers than there are FBI agents in New York and the surrounding area. They are over-committed as it is and don’t have time to spy on Americans even if they wanted to, which they don’t. The CIA, unlike the FBI, does not have arrest powers, either.

  5. The old “Do as I say, not as I do!” trick. To borrow from Smokey’s immortal contributions to TBP, “Dianne Feinstein eats shit!”



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