Rand Paul Files Lawsuit Against The NSA While Peter King Questions His Party's Loyalty To The Surveillance State

from the NSA-swiftly-shooting-up-'America's-favorite-defendant'-chart dept

Shortly after the first Snowden leak back in June of last year, Sen. Rand Paul threatened to file a class action lawsuit against the government for its surveillance of American citizens. This move, while interesting, seemed to be less useful than actually trying to reform the NSA using the legislative process. Nonetheless, Paul was apparently serious and has officially filed his lawsuit in the DC federal court, naming President Obama, NSA head Keith Alexander, ODNI Director James Clapper and FBI Director James Comey as defendants.

“There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant and without individualization,” Paul said at a news conference outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia…

“I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records,” Paul said. “I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”

It seems like a simple enough requirement. Targeted warrants have long been used for investigations, and there’s no reason to believe they simply don’t work anymore. The nation’s investigative and security agencies have just become accustomed to circumventing this aspect of the Fourth Amendment.

Rand Paul and an untold number of others will be represented by Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia attorney general, who explains why Paul’s lawsuit is different than the dozens of others that have been filed in the wake of Snowden’s leaks.

“This case is, first of all, the only case that is strictly challenging the Fourth Amendment elements of the telephone metadata gathering,” Cuccinelli said. “Second of all, this will be certified later in the case as a class action, on behalf of all Americans. The other cases thus far are on behalf of individual plaintiffs … that does not provide relief for every American using telephones. This case will.”

This filing has prompted angry comments (of course) from terrorist appeaser (and current Congressman) Peter King ([sigh] of course.)

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) expressed anger Wednesday that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is slated to file a lawsuit against President Obama and other officials over National Security Agency surveillance…

“I think that has really hurt the country,” King said of the leaks on MSNBC. “That is why I am so angry that Rand Paul is bringing this lawsuit today.”

King went on to question whether his party should have Snowden sympathizers in its ranks.

“And let’s just say as Republicans … do we really want people in our party somehow saying they don’t know whether he is a patriot or not? … Who actually put him in the same classification as the director of national intelligence?”

These questions presumably received no answer other than a saddened headshake from King himself. It looks as though there’s only one way to be a Republican these days, and that’s to be in total servitude to the surveillance state. Even questioning King’s assertion that Snowden is a traitor is bad for America the Republican party King’s normally boyishly exuberant outlook on life the current legislative majority, as envisioned by pro bono NSA flack, Peter King.

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Comments on “Rand Paul Files Lawsuit Against The NSA While Peter King Questions His Party's Loyalty To The Surveillance State”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Taking all bets guys!

If we’re speculating about blackmail material I suspect Peter King is beyond simple “closeted gay homophobic politician” and into the realm of far worse. Molesting young boys perhaps?

Then again every time I see them not taking action against blatant abuses of power I begin to suspect progressively worse blackmail material. I’m running out of potential horrific secrets.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

?I?m not against the NSA, I?m not against spying, I?m not against looking at phone records,? Paul said. ?I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual?s name and [get] a warrant. That?s what the Fourth Amendment says.?

Oy. That actually makes sense. You know things are seriously screwed up when the libertarian nutcases are the ones talking sense…

edpo says:

Re: Paul Quote

I agree. I also thought this was a good quote that shows just how simple this issue actually should be:

?I?m not against the NSA, I?m not against spying, I?m not against looking at phone records,? Paul said. ?I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual?s name and [get] a warrant. That?s what the Fourth Amendment says.?

shanen (profile) says:

Neo-GOP intellectual integrity = NIL

Rand Paul is supposed to be one of the most principled members of the neo-GOP. I wanted to say “thinkers”, but no evidence he’s ever moved an inch beyond his childhood indoctrination.

The problem here is that these NSA/CIA attacks on the Constitution are NOT a partisan issue, but a systemic dysfunction. There are so-called Republicans (no relation to Abe Lincoln or Teddy’s GOP) who are just as liable and deserving of inclusion in this so-called lawsuit as anyone currently in the government. Actually, I’d say that the big dick Cheney and the big don Rumsfeld are probably the most culpable, and we can debate about whether or not Dubya has any liability for being such an ignorant clown.

I’m not saying the named defendants don’t deserve being sued, but leaving off the neo-GOP culprits makes into a trivial partisan witch hunt. So much for Rand Paul’s so-called principles.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Neo-GOP intellectual integrity = NIL

There’s something peculiar I have seen inside an old dictionary, I’ll scan it if necessary. It’s from an old Webster’s Unabridged dictionnary, at the end you know how they have an encyclopedic part? They list american presidents till then ( I think up to Bush Sr) and their religious affilations. Well Abe Lincoln and Andrew Jackson are right in a row and their religious affiliation says “Nonmember”.

Makes one think…

Anonymous Coward says:

i dont understand how anyone supposedly representing those who are supposed to be free people in a supposedly democratic country, can actually think for one second that it’s ok to spy on everyone, everywhere, including your own citizens in your own country, in any and every situation, without the slightest reason to! what the fuck does he think there are laws in place for? so he can wipe his ass on them? he better hurry up with that cause i can see him not being reelected!

Not That Chris (profile) says:

Probably Dumb Questions

So while I can appreciate the reasoning behind the lawsuit, I have a couple of probably dumb questions that maybe someone can answer:

1) If a member of the Legislative branch believe a member of the Executive has violated the law, is that not what impeachment proceedings are for? Or is the reason for the lawsuit outside of impeachment to include people beyond the president? Or because there’s a snowball’s chance of the Senate confirming an impeachment?

2) Should there not be more people involved in this lawsuit? The laws that are being operated under were approved by Congress. The Patriot Act, NDAA, and all the other pieces of legislation have come up several times now for renewal and been readily OK’d.

3) I’ve seen comments elsewhere that this is pretty much farting in the wind (or grandstanding, depending on how you want to phrase it) as there’s enough precedent that a “no standing” ruling is all that will come of this. What is the actual likelihood of this going anywhere?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Probably Dumb Questions

1) This is to change the system. You impeach Obama, the NSA keeps running as is under Bidden. You impeach Keith Clapper, same thing. This way, they have to change the system, or show blatant disrespect for the law.

2) See point 1, this is not to get anyone into any trouble, it’s an attempt to force the legal system to alter the rules (or really, enforce them)

3) How the hell do you say he has no standing? The NSA has admitted to spying on people, Congress included, so he has standing. Simply put, since the NSA admits to it, he has standing to challenge it. And he has enough resources to go all the way to the supreme court, if necessary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Probably Dumb Questions

Prepare for a false-flag attack on US soil if this lawsuit gets traction and it looks like Paul might win. His dad really taught him a lot of things about honesty and other by-default smarts-used for good. Mostly, there’s a creepy part about them, but I think their religious fundamentalism is harmless, globally at least. They don’t want to bomb countries out there who are of no threat to the US because the president was voted in by a 15-20% of crazies who want to speed up “revelations”.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Probably Dumb Questions

Not again – another impeachment idiot running around spewing the latest thing they heard on talk radio.

You know, a few years ago I’d agree with you. Those talk radio guys are wacko and wrong most of the time. But over the last couple years, they’ve been wacko and right. Kinda hard to call someone a wacko when what they are spewing is hitting the mark based on material generated by the government and released through official or unofficial means after they said it. They may still be wrong most of the time, but hit a couple truths and people start to believe you.

Not so long ago we would have been calling them prophets or truthsayers or readers.

Seegras (profile) says:

Re: Re: Probably Dumb Questions

“impeachement idiot”?

If running roughshod over millions of US citizens by unconstitutionally spying on them, justifying it by secret court orders from secret courts, and constantly lying to the public about it is not enough, I wouldn’t know what more a government would need to do to justify impeachment.

Probably getting a blowjob by an intern would do it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Probably Dumb Questions

A couple of reasons. 1. Impeachment requires getting enough of Congress to go through the process which historically is something Congress has been very reluctant to do while filing a lawsuit is something he can do on his own. 2. Impeachment doesn’t necessarily end up before a court. It may result in simply the removal of the individuals from their positions or, as was the case with Clinton’s impeachment, simply end with the investigation, both of which don’t do anything about the problematic way the law is being abused. A court decision can result in declaration that the actions by the NSA are unconstitutional and illegal effectively killing them and setting a legal precedent against them.

DOlz (profile) says:

Rep. King, can I be a Republican?

?And let’s just say as Republicans … do we really want people in our party somehow saying they don?t know whether he is a patriot or not? … Who actually put him in the same classification as the director of national intelligence??

I agree with this. There no way that Snowden should be in the same classification as that treasonist anti-American James Clapper.

Mark says:

Google worse than NSA

Why is it that everyone has a problem with the NSA, but they don’t seem to have a problem with Google? Google violates your privacy by scanning your calendar, posts, files, email, etc., and by tracking your browsing history. Plus they keep track of all of your search results and build profiles about you. This is just as extensive (if not more) than what the NSA does. Everyone who cares about privacy should check out some of the new privacy-based services that have started to pop up: Ravetree, HushMail, DuckDuckGo, etc.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Google worse than NSA

As is always pointed out, I don’t have to use Google. I don’t have to give Google my info, or even real info (I do my best to avoid using my real name online. For example, my name is not Keith).

The NSA, on the other hand, forcefully steals all that info in violation of Constitutional guidelines intentionally put in place at the founding of the US to prevent this kind of thing. & there’s nothing most Americans can do about it; it happens regardless of what you do.

Anonymous Coward says:

do we really want people in our party somehow saying they don?t know whether he is a patriot or not?

More call for either you are on the same ideas as us or you don’t belong in our party type claims. That some how if you support the party, there is no room for disagreement with it’s entire principals. It’s like saying if you believe in religion, you should support Jim Jones actions with his flock. Maybe not such a bad idea as the majority do not hold with all the ideology of either party. More and more people are disassociating themselves with being identified with either party, choosing to be independent instead on their voter registrations.

There is a reason why people have so little faith in the congress critter ever doing the right things for their country or the government for that matter. It doesn’t appear to be getting better.

David says:

Re: You said it ...

Yeah, the amusing thing is that he wrote ?do we really want people in our party somehow saying they don?t know whether he is a patriot or not? … Who actually put him in the same classification as the director of national intelligence?? which implicitly would place Clapper in the category ?patriot?.

He is anything but that. He is a weaseling liar, bullshitting and equivocating and lying and perjuring congress (which is representing the people, namely those a patriot should strive to serve and respect). He’ll do what’s in his means to increase his wealth and influence and powers, against the U.S. constitution, against his oaths, against his job description.

And he tries to corrupt, blackmail, and grease the decision makers (those who expend the money of the American people) with the illicit power he obtained.

He is actively trying to destroy what the U.S. stands for in return for personal gains.

That’s not a patriot. There is no enemy of the country more dangerous than his ilk. And if he is not stopped, everything that the U.S. once stood for will be lost.

He is building everything needed for the rise of a new Hitler, and with everything in place, a new Hitler will be easy to find and fast-tracked. The collapsing Republican party would be a good breeding place for one, but it’s not the Democrats don’t have their own runner-ups.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: You said it ...

Race, gender, and histrionic nationalism are indeed features of the current GOP, but they’re not planning a Hitler. That’s too easy to spot. What they’re actually planning is already in the works or already in place…

To wit, the seizure of the levers of power via the administrative departments, which is why, despite their frantic assertions to the contrary, they’re not about small government at all, just cutting welfare and services.

They’re also in bed with the MIC and trans-national corporations to keep the money flowing in.

They’re also very hawkish.

So what you will find is not one glorious leader whose portrait will grace every American home (or else!), but a slew of authoritarians who got in on religion, gun rights, or promises of smaller government who will then begin to tighten the screws to maintain the revolution that Krolork keeps calling for. They’re already dissing democracy, claiming that it doesn’t work, etc.

And that’s not even the main problem. These people could do nothing without a dedicated base of supporters who will join right in because they think they’re on the winning team – and that we must be liberal socialists because we don’t agree with them.

When your right to speak goes up in flames with the rest of the Bill of Rights, will you value it then? The real threat has always been on the far right. The Democrats are useless corporate suckups and won’t help us so we’re best off voting for third parties and avoiding the partisan trap.

David says:

Re: Re:

I had a thought about suing the NSA for copyright infringement for all those emails they scoop up…

It’s fair use. Mostly educational: they use it to learn about what you are doing, and archive it for future generations of the U.S.: there will be no family without NSA members, for whatever gets said or written is worth listening to.

Think of it as a big “library of congress”. There will be layers of library cards depending on who has earned or bought himself the rights to superveil and blackmail who.

This is what the modern U.S.A. stands for: equal rights and opportunity for every dollar.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Nope. the NSA does not violate copyright. Since copyright is NOT about copying things for yourself, but about PUBLISHING.

Not exactly true. Copying something you already have and are legally entitled to for yourself doesn’t violate copyright. Copying something that is under copyright that you aren’t legally entitled to via the copyright or a license from someone else even if it is for personal use. The NSA isn’t legally entitled to that data unless they get a warrant.

Anonymous Coward says:

What happens to justice when the government tries to hide the bad guys abusing the system?

I don’t think those elected people understand what they are doing to a great nation.

Criminals are criminals it shouldn’t matter if they work at MacDonald’s or the NSA. The cavalier attitude of the current and past administration is appalling.

Anonymous Coward says:

?And let’s just say as Republicans … do we really want people in our party somehow saying they don?t know whether he is a patriot or not? … Who actually put him in the same classification as the director of national intelligence??

Snowden isn’t in the same classification as the director of national intelligence. Snowden is a patriot. The director is a traitor.

JBDragon says:

All this outright spying on U.S. Citizens and for what? It didn’t stop the Boston Bombing even with Russia handing over Data about these people!!! Russia warned the U.S. and we didn’t nothing. All that spying didn’t do jack. All that just spy on everyone. What happened to Innocent until proven guilty? Now the Government just thinks everyone is Guilty and so lets spy on everyone.

This is what happens with a over growing and more and more corrupt Government. We have a Dictator that’s suppose to be President and as he says, if Congress doesn’t do what HE wants, he has a Phone and a Pen!!! What a joke.

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