On “Fox News Sunday” this weekend, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said President Barack Obama’s proposed measures for handling the NSA data collection scandal were insufficient and called for the agency’s powersto be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“You know, I think that the president fundamentally misunderstands the constitutional powers,” Paul said. “The checks and balances come from independent branches of government. So he thinks if he gets some lawyers together from the NSA and they do a PowerPoint presentation and they tell him everything is OK, that the NSA can police themselves. One of the fundamentally things that our founders put in place was they wanted to separate police power from the judiciary power. So, they didn’t want police to write warrants and the NSA are a type of police. They wanted an open judiciary responsive to the people with open debate in public. So, I think the constitutionality of these programs needs to be questioned and there needs to be a Supreme Court decision that looks to be constitutional or not.”
Paul pointed out that this seems be a frequent practice of the Obama administration — scandal-plagued agencies conducting their own internal audits, instead of submitting to the other branches of government for review.
“They chose not to report the program, period,” Paul said. “They said they weren’t looking at any American data or any phone calls and it turns out that they are looking at billions of phone calls every day. So I think the whole program needs to be reviewed, but it can’t be an internal audit. There is sort of a similarity between this scandal and all the other scandals. The president thinks that the IRS can police themselves as well and that they’ll do an internal audit. He thought the State Department could do an internal audit also. But the thing is, no one was ever fired in the State Department.”
“No one has been fired in the IRS. The Director of National Intelligence lied to the Senate and I think greatly damaged credibility of our intelligence community and nothing has happened,” he continued. “There are no repercussions, other than he says, ‘Well, we had a PowerPoint presentation. We had some lawyers come together who work for the NSA.’ The only way to find justice is you have to hear both sides. So there really needs to be a discussion from people who are a little bit more skeptical of the NSA in an open court, I think before the Supreme Court on this program.”