Ron Paul on the Wiretap Bill

Eric Garris, June 24, 2008

Ron Paul explains why he is opposed to the “compromise” FISA wiretap bill (June 20):

Mr. Speaker, I regret that due to the unexpected last-minute appearance of this measure on the legislative calendar this week, a prior commitment has prevented me from voting on the FISA amendments. I have strongly opposed every previous FISA overhaul attempt and I certainly would have voted against this one as well.

The main reason I oppose this latest version is that it still clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. That US citizens can have their private communication intercepted by the government without a search warrant is anti-American, deeply disturbing, and completely unacceptable.

In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, including in Article I section 9 of the Constitution that “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” How is this FISA bill not a variation of ex post facto? That alone should give pause to supporters of this measure.

Mr. Speaker, we should understand that decimating the protections that our Constitution provides us against the government is far more dangerous to the future of this country than whatever external threats may exist. We can protect this country without violating the Constitution and I urge my colleagues to reconsider their support for this measure.

Update: Amy Goodman interviews Sen. Russ Feingold on his reasons for opposing the FISA bill.




46 Responses to “Ron Paul on the Wiretap Bill”

  1. Can you imagine getting this kind of moral clarity from the likes of Nancy Pelosi? Me neither. Her “leadership” on this and many other issues before the Congress has been nothing short of criminal.

  2. That’s because she is one. As are 99.99% of her collegues.

  3. OK…they’re gonna f**k us again, what are we going to do about it? Vote? lol :D

  4. OK…so what do we do about it? Vote? lol :D

  5. At this point it isn’t just the President… or Congress… or the Supreme Court… it’s also the lobbyists… the news media… the banks… Federal Prosecutors… military contractors… former generals… The Fed… the FCC… etc…

    How do you enforce the laws and bring people to justice when they’re all washing each others hands…

  6. The late great George Carlin nails it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KReZyAZLI0

    Thanks lucifern for the youtube vid.

    I think this about says it all.

    However, and remember we are educating the public. Who knows what the blowback will be but keep up the good fight it’s the only thing we can do. Wake up the sheeple.

    Peace!

  7. Sorry but don’t watch this video if you don’t like a few bad words.

    Later.

  8. [...] http://www.antiwar.com/… Mr. Speaker, I regret that due to the unexpected last-minute appearance of this measure on the legislative calendar this week, a prior commitment has prevented me from voting on the FISA amendments. I have strongly opposed every previous FISA overhaul attempt and I certainly would have voted against this one as well. [...]

  9. The people who are running our government need to be committed and or arrested.

  10. The USSA/USrael is basically hosed – stick a fork in it to see when it`s done. The Founders
    would be spinning in their graves if they`ve seen what a ziofascist, christo-marxist, police
    state sh*thole and paranoid(N.Korea/Burma-style) surveillance-society we`ve become. It`s been said that the people get the gov`t they deserve, and I do believe the average, willfully-ignorant, publicly-sk0oled, American-Idol-watching, COPS/SWAT(the TV show)-fan deserves what he or she gets.

    I for one, have effectively given up hope after 10 years of trying to educate folks as to whats going on, who`s interests are REALLY being served by our elected officials, and the importance of fighting tooth and nail to keep even the slightest encroachment on our Constitution from ever being allowed to happen. But you know what, the sheeple just don`t care, or are too ignorant, brainwashed and/or stupid to care. So I don`t care anymore, either.

    It`s look-out-for-#1-time, because you can`t continue to shovel against the tide of BS with a tablespoon. At some point it`s time to take a realistic, pragmatic assessment of your fellow countrymen, the tide of sh*t, and those “leaders” they continue to elect, yaer after year, and realize the fight is lost. The best you can do now(short of leaving this sinking ship and seeking out saner pastures abroad), is look out for yourself, your family and friends, set up your economic fallout-shelter, make yourself as financially and resource-(food, energy, water, ect) independant as possible, and to hell with everyone else. Live your life as best you can, as it`s the only one you`ve got.

    I think we`re at the point that, *ironically*, the best(and perhaps only hope) for True
    Americans(an endangered species, if there ever was one), is a rapid and spectacular Soviet Union-style bancruptcy and collapse, resulting in the breakup of the United States, and the re-emergence of America. IMHO, the bancruptcy of the Soviet Union and the fall of communism was the best thing that ever happened to Russia and it`s people, and hold out hope that a similar event might take place here.

  11. Display of unaccountability defines status as a member of the elite.

    In order to be unaccountable one must err or transgress.

    For unaccountability to be displayed error or transgression must be displayed.

    Genuine incompetence is the most reliable path to error and transgression and their display.

    Ergo: Given competition and over time the elite will approach and display complete incompetence in all its acts and their immunities.

  12. The sad thing here is that the masses won’t even know this is going on.

  13. When the “feeders” (net-tax-recievers, as opposed to net-tax-payers) rush out to their mailboxes, and don`t get their checks, they`ll know somethings up. Being a net-tax-payer,
    I won`t miss Uncle Pimp taking $.25 cents out of every dollar I earn, and giving me zero in return, while redistributing 1/4 my earnings to welfare breeders, disability fraudsters,
    politicians` lifetime perks and “defense” contractors who main constribution to America`s “security” is producing helicopter blades for gunships that kill Palestinian civilians.

  14. Am I sick, cynical and sarcastic? You bet! An Insane McCain Presidency would simply be a 3rd term of Bush under another name, but to see Obama(the, *cough*, “opposition” candidate) kow-tow to the Israel Lobby instead of straight-out telling them what time it was, only reinforces
    my viewpoint. This is why Ron Paul never stood a chance – any US Presidential candidate who is silly/foolish enough to actually vow to put his own country`s best interests ahead of that of Israel`s (real, or percieved interests), is dead in the water before he even begins. Since nothing in The Constitution authorizes the US gubmint to send billions of taxpayer dollars out to foreign countries as “aid”, any potential candidate for the Whitehouse not in favor of such largess is automatically disqualified by the likes of AIPAC and their ilk.

  15. Very bad things will happen to the american sheeple soon…and they deserve every bit of it! The american sheeple have been repeatedly warned about the very things we see happening right now!

    @ Jared Ohlinger: How do you enforce the laws and bring people to justice when they’re all washing each others hands? You can’t! There are way too many people involved…including hundreds of the most powerful people on earth!

    * They have seized control of the voting apparatus…no way to vote them out!

    * They control the media…this makes mass brainwashing a snap!

    * They control many key social movements…their motto has always been “control the dissent”!

    * Many of them are unscrupulous psychopaths…the rest are just unscrupulous!

    You get the idea…

    The only way to unseat them is through force…it cannot be accomplished any other way! At the end of the day though I think the american sheeple are cowardly morons through and through…they will do as their told, just as long as they have some comforts, like TV and some food in the fridge.

  16. The USA had a very special form of government and the Constitution is a vital part of it. We’re believing our own propaganda—-making the world safe for Democracy. Democracy is the problem; it’s rule by the lowest common denominator–the uneducated, uninformed masses. We as a nation are getting exactly what we want, and exactly what the Founders warned us about. I believe History will be kind to Ron Paul and the Future will marvel at the blind ignorant way in which we so cavalierly abandoned our unique heritage of freedom.

  17. Thats about right, the more you mess up the quicker you get to the top. The law of the land defines who wins and loses, regardless of fact or fiction.

    I have read this before from you and didn’t comment (at least I don’t think so) but it does remind me of the Peterson Principles. You know how it goes everyone gets elevated to their level of incompetence.

    I was just rereading the Devils of Loudin (Aldous Huxley) it kind of reminds me of the witchhunts we have going on now. No matter how much evidence, the truthfull are put on trial with the innocent (or at least non complacent) and they are toast. The guilty and incompetent always get a free ride and are actually rewarded.

    It stinks but its true the better you are the more of a threat you are to the idiots. It’s like the old saying the nail that stands up gets hammered down.

    Peace!

  18. [...] http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/06/24/ron-paul-on-the-wiretap-bill/ Sphere: Related Content [...]

  19. Ron Paul should have blamed those who are responsible: The American people KNEW – every single one of them – that Bush was committing crimes both foreign and domestic BEFORE they rewarded him with a second term in power, back in 2004. From US torture chambers to the US-made genocide in Iraq to illegal wire tapping, the American people have cheered on Chimp every step of the way. Why, Americans are SO upset by Chimp’s crimes that they’re about to vote in Johnny McSame for the next eight years! LMAO, there’s some family values for you.
    God Bless America.

  20. Was that “prior commitment” more important than this vote? I was disappointed to learn Ron Paul failed to vote. Being a Constitutionalist, shouldn’t he have been there? It flies in the face of all that he said during his short run for president.

    His vote may not have mattered in the final analysis, but that’s not the point. He should have given his speech to the Speaker then, not now.

  21. ummmmmm, Nanci Pelosi is sycophant of the Neocons too willing to destroy America in exchange for AIPAC favors and good media coverage. She is banking on the belief that in order to be successful she has to lend unconditional support to the ZOG.

  22. You’re 100% correct, this country was in far better shape when Jesse James, Al Capone and the likes were breaking the laws.

  23. So much for the 3rd branch of government.
    “Woe unto you, unjust Judges!” –Jesus of Nazareth

  24. Clarification: this is what happens when legislators
    and executors are allowed to “interpret” the law.
    This is where our Jurists, sworn to protect us and
    our constitution, should step in and stop this madness.
    But do they?
    Not a peep.
    They will wait the 10 years it takes to get a case
    before their bench and by then it will be too late.
    In this way, the law has no effect.
    They will sit by and watch this lawlessness continue.
    It took them 4 years to rule on habeus corpus, the
    single most important issue on the entire planet
    and even then did not rule decisively, but vaguely.
    “Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming, we’re finally on our own.”
    This wiretapping crap is exactly what they got Nixon on,
    but now they are going to legalize it.
    Adios America, land of the free, home of the brave.
    Adios.
    There is NO such thing as God given rights.
    Nothing is inalienable and everything is negotiable.
    May they all burn in hell.

  25. Intertwined with incompetence and unaccountability in the public sector is conspiracy. By definition, a conspiracy consists of two or more persons agreeing to do something illegal.

    Why would people do something illegal? It is because they are unable to legally get what they want. Why are they unable to legally get what they want? It is because they are incompetent! Even brilliant and otherwise capable people are incompetent at something. Why do incompetent conspirators gravitate towards government jobs? It is because that’s where they will find the guns to intimidate, steal and kill with impunity (unaccountability) in order to get what they want. In the private sector they must use persuasion to get what they want. There they will go to jail for using force. In the public sector, force is how things get done.

    So, we can conclude that conspiracy is how government operates, illegally dismantling constitutional constraints so that incompetent people can get what they want and not be prosecuted for it.

  26. I could be wrong, but doesn’t an absence on a vote technically register as a Nay vote since the Yays have to have 50% + 1 of the total current Congress members for any bill to pass? Like I said, I could be wrong. Either way, his speech before the vote would have been ideal, though it wouldn’t have made a difference.

  27. The slightest erosion of liberties should be regarded as seriously as the tiniest malignant tumor or the first sign of fire. To do otherwise is to court disaster.

    With regard to freedom, your typical McSheep American is happily sporting a watermelon size tumor while watching unreality TV in his flaming family room.

  28. Well said ephilipp! I’m glad to see at least a few of us are on the same page! Democracy is not a good thing in a society like ours.

    When I heard that Ron Paul was in the race I felt a little less burdened there for a while. Now, after the MSM openly cheated my guy out of his rightful place in the race, I feel more cynical than ever before! :(

  29. 25 cents on the dollar? My dear fellow, surely you josh. If you compute all local, state, and Federal taxes, duties, imposts, fees and so forth, it comes out much closer–depending on the area–to 60% to 70%, and that is for both low and middle income brackets.

    Corporate Fascism, in short, is National Socialism without the Socialism.

    “Welfare” expenses, mostly deleted by Clinton, are a small piece of the pie. Not that they ever did much good, since they were so badly crafted in the first place–most of them–and that likely by design.

    Then, of course, there are the faith-based initiatives, which are another sort of welfare and which helpfund Bush’s and Cheney’s “Socially Conservative” machine, and keep the supposedly religious members of the flock in line and quiet, when not bleating hearty Fascist huzzahs.

  30. “In the private sector they must use persuasion to get what they want.”

    Idealism comes in so many different flavors.

    Law? Oh, yes–legal, lawful, illegal, not legal. Do any of them have anything necessarily to do with justice? One might ask an honest, straight-talking lawyer, if one can find one nowadays.

    Paul Craig Roberts, always an honest broker, has been making some penetrating remarks on “law” recently:

    http://www.vdare.com/pb/death_of_due_process.htm

    I strongly suspect Roberts might be surprised how much in common he had, on all the important things, with another honest broker, Angela Davis, who has long ago skewered the same cancerous growth from the point of view of its “customers” in what she calls, aptly, “the prison industrial complex”.

  31. …much enquiry having been made concerning a gentleman, who had quitted a company where Johnson was, and no information being obtained; at last Johnson observed, that ‘he did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney’.

    [Boswell]

  32. Will Blalock wrote:

    “May they all burn in hell.”

    According to Dante, the inner circle of Hell was indeed reserved for traitors and others who betrayed fiduciary trust. So someone is keeping a place warm for them. ;-)

  33. Does any one know who is presenting this piece of legislation??

    I want to find them.. and kill ‘em. Sounds disturbing, but alienating our rights for heavy power is even more disturbing.

  34. [...] Posted by saintluke on 2008 June 27 At ANTIWAR.COM: [...]

  35. I guess that can be done only by the residents of the US. There is no other country in the world that would engage in an overseas war to “bring democracy and freedom” there. And… there is no oil or natural gas in the US – so – nobody would come to rescue “democracy” :-)

  36. [...] blog: Eric Garris, “Ron Paul on the Wiretap Bill“, June 24, 2008. Ron Paul explains why he is opposed to the “compromise” FISA [...]

  37. American popular opinion on invasion of Iraq

    March 2003
    Days before the March 20 invasion, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found support for the war was related to UN approval. Nearly six in 10 said they were ready for such an invasion “in the next week or two.” But that support dropped off if the U.N. backing was not first obtained. If the U.N. Security Council were to reject a resolution paving the way for military action, 54% of Americans favored a U.S. invasion. And if the Bush administration didn’t not seek a final Security Council vote, support for a war dropped to 47%. [7]

    An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken after the beginning of the war showed a 62% support for the war, lower than the 79% in favor at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War. [1]

    [edit] April 2003
    A poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News found that 72% of Americans supported the Iraq War, despite finding no evidence of chemical or biological weapons.[citation needed]

    A poll made by CBS found that 60% of Americans said the Iraq War was worth the blood and cost even if no WMD are ever found.[citation needed]

    [edit] May 2003
    A Gallup poll made on behalf of CNN and the newspaper USA Today concluded that 79% of Americans thought the Iraq War was justified, with or without conclusive evidence of illegal weapons. 19% thought ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_popular_opinion_on_invasion_of_Iraq

  38. The American people should only blame themselves.

    “Despite President Bush’s perpetually abysmal approval ratings, it appears his increasingly hostile rhetoric against Iran has drummed up enough fear of a “nuclear holocaust” or a World War III that a majority of Americans are in favor of a US strike against the country aimed a curtailing its apparent nuclear ambitions, a new poll shows.

    The Zogby International survey shows 52 percent of Americans would support a strike on Iran, while 53 percent expect President Bush to launch such an attack before the end of his second term. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is voters’ No. 1 choice to deal with Iran, with 21 percent saying they would like to see her take on Tehran from the White House. Republican Rudy Giuliani was voters’ second choice, with 15 percent.”

    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Bomb_Iran_majority_of_Americans_says_1030.html

  39. “…those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. 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 pull the wires which control the public mind….”

    Edward Bernays

    Don’t miss the video clip here:

    http://class-warfare.blogspot.com/2008/01/edward-bernays-assassin-of-democracy.html

    The whole BBC series, “The Century of Self”, is also well worth watching.

    Substitute Iran for Guatemala and what do you get?

    The most interesting and meaningful poll would be to ask Americans if they are for or against trying to locate “Iran” on a map.

    I suspect 97% would be strongly against.

  40. Y’all are a bunch of retards. This is a fine example of why Paul fanatics receive so much derision.

    First, Paul DID NOT utter one peep in Congress on June 20, 2008. Not one word. Think I am wrong? Prove it! C-SPAN archives any remarks on either House Floor over 30 seconds in duration. Please to be proffering up a pointer to this speech.

    Second, this Congressional Record was not even in the June 29, 2008 Congressional Daily Record. It was instead slipped into the extensions on June 24, 2008, and Paul titled it: “Speech of Hon. Ron Paul of Texas In The House Of Representatives Friday, June 20, 2008″. This is a common practise in the House of Representatives. Members are often given several days to enter and revise their remarks, but y’all claim that Paul is heads and shoulders above your average slimeball politician, yet he seems to be quite at ease playing bait and switch with his header tags, knowing damn well his idolaters won’t bother to to double-check and take him at his word.

    Here the REAL citation for it:

    Congressional Record: June 24, 2008 (Extensions) – Page E1325
    From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access DOCID:cr24jn08-15.

    Third, the reason Paul just couldn’t stick around to defend the Constitution on June 20, 2008, was that he was scheduled to keynote in the big_sky, at the Montana State Republican Convention in Missoula. According to the town’s local paper, The Missoulian, the convention drew a whopping 470 people. Paul’s attendance for Roll Call Votes in the 110th Congress is very poor, and he has missed votes on bills which cover issues he claims are very dear to his core beliefs.

    Politicians have lied, Politicians lie, and Politicians will lie. Ron Paul’s political career is now into its 5th decade. Ron Paul doesn’t walk on the water; he floats on the top, just like the rest of the scum.

    Who are the sheeple now? Maybe you ought to reflect upon just who the hell is yanking on that chain attached to the ring in your noses, before you get pulled up and into the abattoir’s entrance.

  41. From The Raw Story…

    Retired AT&T engineer Mark Klein has condemned the Senate’s Wednesday cloture vote on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

    The bill, if passed by final vote planned for July 8, would revise the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to retroactively grant immunity to customers’ civil lawsuits against telecommunications companies who participated in the National Security Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, on the condition that they can provide documentation that they were told ahead of time that their activities were legal.

    Klein, in November 2007, urged Congress not to allow such immunity, having gone public with his story of a secret room in AT&T’s San Francisco switching center, which required NSA clearance to enter. All Internet traffic, he said, was being diverted to equipment in the room, as he discovered during his time maintaining optical splitters that handled data to and from AT&T customers.

    “[My] thought was George Orwell’s 1984 and here I am forced to connect to the Big Brother machine,” Klein told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann in a November 2007 interview.

    Documents Klein obtained, along with conversations he had with colleagues, suggested that 15 to 20 other sites such as this were in other offices across the country, ABC News reported. The documents, acquired by Wired.com, were submitted as part of a 2006 class action lawsuit, currently awaiting further action in the 9th Circuit US Appeals Court, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    “[Wednesday]’s vote by Congress effectively gives retroactive immunity to the telecom companies and endorses an all-powerful president,” Klein said. “It’s a Congressional coup against the Constitution.”

    “This cynical deal is a Democratic exercise in deceit and cowardice,” he went on. “Congress has made the FISA law a dead letter–such a law is useless if the president can break it with impunity. Thus the Democrats have surreptitiously repudiated the main reform of the post-Watergate era and adopted Nixon’s line: ‘When the president does it that means that it is not illegal.’ This is the judicial logic of a dictatorship.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    This is more proof that the so called two-party system is a sham – it’s nothing more than Psy-Op run by the elites! – and thus, sadly, whatever Ron Paul says is of no consequence.

    @ Dr. Ron Paul: You must begin immediately to build a strong, viable resistance movement! Do NOT accept into the ranks of this new movement anyone from the “Anti-War” movement, until they have been properly vetted by a polygraph examination using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques!

    There are many people who can be extremely valuable to this new revolution: Paul Craig Roberts, Sibel Edmonds, India Singh, Mark Cuban, Mike Ruppert, Jesse Ventura, SueAnn Arrigo,
    most of the 9/11 truth movement, and many others.

    You better get busy Dr. Paul…American Revolution v2.0 is a massive, but achievable, undertaking! The United States of America is already lost…it can be won back, but not without a great deal of bloodshed it can’t!

  42. Mr.Struck,
    I think you neglected to read the first paragraph of Ron’s statement.
    I admire your research but I suggest you work on your reading skills.
    Yes, Ron was absent and there was no effort to imply otherwise.
    His statement had to be entered post facto due to this absence.
    Duuh?
    “In a world of learned ineptitude,
    retardation is revolutionary.” -William Shatner

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