Senator Rand Paul Wants A Class Action Lawsuit Against NSA Surveillance

from the how-about-doing-something-in-congress-first dept

We’ve been hearing more about outraged Congressional Representatives and Senators concerning NSA surveillance, with Rand Paul announcing that he’s going to file a “class action lawsuit” against the administration, and Rep. Justin Amash suggesting something similar. While I appreciate the gesture, it seems like since those two (and others) are in Congress, their time might be better spent seeing what they can do to fix things from there. The lawsuits are going to flow, that seems fairly certain. But we’d already seen Senators and Representatives who tried to alert the world to what was going on prior to the leaks, so why don’t Amash, Paul and the others team up and fix things the way they can: by using the legislature to rein in an intelligence community that is out of control, in large part because of permission Congress gave them.

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Comments on “Senator Rand Paul Wants A Class Action Lawsuit Against NSA Surveillance”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m sorry I sure thought there was this thing called Congressional Oversight.

Rand Paul opted to suggest a class action lawsuit than to use his very powerful position as an elected leader of this country to stop something.

No one gives a flying fig right now, except maybe you and some other pundits, who started this bullshit.

What they care about is who is going to do something serious to end it rather than suck all of the air out of the room yammering on about a tactic that is far less effective than putting a bill on the floor to shut the damn thing down and having a press conference to get the public to scare the shit out of their congresscritter to support it.

Then we can have all the hearings and press conferences they want trying to assign blame to a single person. We waste more time trying to make sure the right person is blamed that we end up ignoring the actual problem the entire time.

Problem – Solution, THEN blame game.

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And that boys and girls is exactly how it starts. Is history no longer required in schools?

Let’s see how many other times throughout history have the people been willing to put up with violations to their civil liberties in order to ‘protect the state’. Hmmm, now let’s see where have I heard about things like this before?

Nazi Germany comes to mind. “Oh but that was not Americans, we would never go that far!” I hear you say.

So let’s look a little closer to home, you know, on American soil.

Colonial Massachusetts 1692-1693 Salem Witch Trials. “Too old!”; I hear you cry; “We are more civilized now!”, or so you say.

Well let’s jump forward 250+ years to say the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Do you know what I am referring to?

Mcarthy’s famous ‘red’s under our beds’ campaign. Surely you learned about this in school if you aren’t old enough to have lived through it.

Now today we have the “Patriot Act” and the great fear of terrorism. Where people are stripped of privacy and secretly spied upon because they might be a terrorist. Oddly, many people say “I have nothing to hide.” At least until they have unwittingly become a target, and someone decides that childhood friend is an enemy of the state; your college dorm mate; your neighbor; the person you work with…

What do these (and other examples) have in common? They all used fear as a means to alienate people and make them turn against each other under the illusion of an ongoing conspiracy. They were all in search of an invisible enemy who caused ‘some sort of damage to society’.

Most importantly all were exploited by various powerful individuals to gain power due to the paranoia of the average person.

So go ahead sheeple, let your government leaders take you down the road to the slaughter house. Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

LivingInNavarre (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The House has voted 36 times to repeal Obamacare. It’s still here so when you are a minority (and 2 good legislators are very much a minority) then they have a snowballs chance in hell of getting any bill even considered.
If the public is properly outraged, and a class action suit will give it the media attention it desperately needs, then those same people can start calling their own elected officials and ask for something to be done.

But I really doubt even that will be enough. I’m against this half-baked amnesty bill and have called, emailed and faxed my boy Rubio to express my concerns. The best I’ve gotten back is a very generic form letter telling me the benefits of letting millions of illegals to suddenly be able to collect welfare.

Anonymous Coward says:

I for one am outraged

Outraged I tell you at the atrocious things I as a senator have allowed my government to do…

What? I’m not a senator, and no amount of “word wrangling” would make a bit of difference?

Okay, where’s my free cash (lobbiest) and entertainment (hookers and blow), do I still get those at least? What this job is nothing like daddy told me it would be ;(

out_of_the_blue says:

"no evidence of real harm" -- Wasn't this tried before?

And only goes into the circular file because of the circular: you have no standing to bring the suit because you have no evidence because you have no standing to compel disclosure from the only sources that have it, the targets of the suit.

And anything with Rand Paul — inheritor of the Loony Libertarian franchise, which exists SOLELY because of the need to gull the public that an opposition even exists — is probably a set-up. Remember the big squawk in December about him getting Holder to “confess” on the drones? Well, nothing has changed. Holder is still there, and Rand Paul is just another fraud.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

pluses and minuses...

1. in spite of the loony label being unfairly applied to *ONLY* rand paul (no fan, but i could make a valid argument that he is more ‘reality-based’ than most kongresskritters); it is appreciated that some *few* kongresskritters stand on their hind legs and bleat against The System ™…
…even when they *are* The System ™

2. how fucked up is ‘our’ (sic) gummint when the very few lawmakers who stand up for the Constitution and the People have to FILE SUIT AGAINST THEIR OWN GUMMINT, since NOTHING of import and impact will happen through the normal (coverup) channels…

3. um, ain’t it *always* the parasites, er, lawyers who make out like bandits on class action suits ?

…someone ought to file a class action suit about lawyers taking all the proceeds…
oh, wait…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

MAC says:

The Real Problem...

On the one hand, we have a clear violation, at least in spirit, of the 4th Amendment.
On the other hand; we live in an age where a 1 megaton nuclear weapon fits inside of a big thermos bottle.
We need our rights but, we don’t need a nuke going off in New York or Chicago or Washington or anywhere else for that matter.
I just hope that all of this survelance prevents a catstrophe from occuring.
If it doe not then all of this was for naught.
We all need to pray…

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: The Real Problem...

So to protect your freedom, your willing to give all of them up.

I dunno a nuke going off in DC might not be that bad (he said jokingly you humorless NSA pricks).

In the entire time they’ve had this program they can not produce a SINGLE event it prevented. They tried to take credit for an event that was solved by policework and not this program.

All of the terrorist threats you hear about in the news, 99.5% of them are patsys the FBI setup to take down in a big showy event. They use convicted child molesters to gather data on Muslims, offering to cut back his sentence if he gets them something good.

Maybe the quaking terror of a Muslim under your bed should be replaced with the Government keeping you so terrified your willing to give up everything in the name of “safety”.

Anonymous Coward says:

before anything can be fixed, you have to know exactly how it is broken, how badly it is broken and what steps need to be taken to fix it. it’s no good doing the ‘fixing’ half arsed, it needs to be done properly. that means others as well as law enforcement being reined in, eg Hollywood, who are just as bad and want everyone monitored all of the time with everything they do!

shane (profile) says:


Someone does something in support of your claimed issues and you deride them for it?

Cynicism only goes just so far, folks. Rand Paul is not Jesus Christ, but you might at least act like it matters to you when people support your causes. Otherwise you just come across as an anthill to be avoided at all costs.

More and more I am convinced there is a decidedly leftists bent to this blog. It’s as if you’re lobbying what you perceive to be your home team to come back to you or something.


Anonymous Coward says:

A “class action” lawsuit is silly. At first glance it would seem like a good course of action, because of the huge number of people that were spied on. But we’re suing the government. If we win, what happens? The law is overturned? That would happen anyway with a normal lawsuit like the ACLU is filing. We all get money? That would be pointless, since that would only increase the deficit or cause taxes to be raised.

The main thing we can do here is pay attention which congressmen try to defend the spying, and vote accordingly in the next election. Forget your normal republican vs democrat voting method. This is more important, and this issue does not split along party lines.

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