January 23, 2017 3:12 pm
Rand Paul: Why I voted against the new CIA director
By Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
I voted against the new CIA Director because I worry that his desire for security will trump his defense of liberty.
More than ever before, oversight of the secretive world of intelligence is critically important.
Programs are authorized, money is spent, and operations are carried out in the name of the American people, yet only a few members of Congress are even allowed to know what is happening in the dark corners of these U.S. intelligence programs.
Most of Congress was surprised to learn that the U.S. government was collecting all of our phone records in bulk. Most of what our intelligence community does is shielded from the rank and file of Congress. Only eight legislators are privy to the full extent of the surveillance state.
Under oath, the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress about the existence of the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. Without the revelations of Edward Snowden, this gross violation of privacy might still remain unknown. …
There are many supporters of the Surveillance State in Congress. There is, however, a shortage of skeptics. Now that technology and fear have combined to allow the state to watch virtually our every action, someone must pledge to “watch the watchers.”
I swore an oath to defend the Constitution and the rights of the American people. Shielding the CIA from needed oversight is not consistent with that oath.
Protecting the entire Bill of Rights is one of the main reasons I ran for office, and I will remain vigilant in that cause.