Looks like our politicians aren’t interested in debating their spying powers right now. I guess they’re
too busy dealing with the coronavirus and probably not in the mood to decide how they can continue
to spy on American citizens under the guise of tracking terrorists.
Instead of debating the House bill’s changes to the renewal of the USA Freedom Act, the Senate
instead decided to extend the current legislation for 75 days.
The bill had been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump but
was heavily disparaged by Republican Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul and also Democratic
Senator Ron Wyden because of the abuse of our civil liberties.
It looks like neither party wants to really limit the powers of the government to spy on us no matter
how bad they’ve abused their powers in the past while pretending that they don’t want to trample over
Hopefully the next time they take up the bill, they will be serious about it and listen to the suggestions
of Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ron Wyden who actually DO seem to care about adhering to
the Constitution and protecting American citizens.
One of the main concerns of the three Senators is FISA reform because of how abusively it has been
used, especially against Donald Trump in the attempted coup against him by the Obama
Lee had gone to the floor of the Senate and said, “They used the apparatus of the U.S. government’s
superb intelligence gathering agencies to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump, now President of the
United States. They did so in a way that was entirely predictable, entirely foreseeable, and in some
ways avoidable if we had the right laws on the books.”
Back in July of 2013 Democratic Senator Ron Wyden gave a speech at the Center of American
Progress in Washington to talk abut the NSA spying.
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When he spoke he said, “When the Patriot Act was last reauthorized, I stood on the floor of the United
States Senate and said, ‘I want to deliver a warning this afternoon. When the American people find
out how their government has interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned and they are
going to be angry.'”
He talked about secret courts and secret surveillance programs and about the government lying to
the American people about what was going on. He had said at the time, “If we do not seize this
unique moment in our constitutional history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we will all
live to regret it.
And we have.