Rand Paul appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer Friday to discuss the President’s speech concerning the NSA controversy. Unfortunately, judging from his criticism of the speech it would seem that he had something else to do more important than actually watching it.
Paul seemed to have prepared his answers and remarks ahead of time, suggesting that he felt that he knew what the President was going to say and did not need to actually hear it. The result was that what he quoted the President on contradicted what Obama had actually said.
Asked by Blitzer if he was pleased by what he had heard the Senator snidely replied, “Well what I think I heard was that if you like your privacy you can keep it, but in the meantime we’re going to keep collecting your phone records, your emails, your text messages and likely your credit card information.”
Paul goes on to assert that he didn’t hear any “lessening of the spying on Americans,” which in itself is a blatant exaggeration. The Senator knows that there is no personal information in the metadata that is collected, nor do those records belong to the owner of the phone, they are the property of the telecom company.
Paul went on to say, “I heard, ‘trust me, I’m going to put more safeguards in place, but I’m going to keep right on collecting every American’s records.'”
The Good Senator goes on to assert that nothing would have changed had not Edward Snowden released the information that he stole from the NSA. To be fair, he does admit that Snowden broke the law and should be punished but that if not for his actions the President would be doing nothing, even though he said in his speech that the manner in which the NSA was collecting information was already being looked at prior to the release of Snowden’s stolen records.
In fact, President Obama said the exact opposite of trust me, what he said was, “But all of us understand that the standards for government surveillance must be higher. Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: Trust us. We won’t abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples when that trust has been breached. Our system of government is built on the premise that our liberty cannot depend on the good intentions of those in power. It depends on the law to constrain those in power.”
Senator Paul has every right to disagree with the President and to express that disagreement publicly, however if he is going to do so, he should do it honestly, without twisting what was said into something it is not.
Watch the interview in the video below