From IRS targeting to the PRISM program, the Obama administration has disregarded our most basic freedoms as part of a Nixonian campaign to discredit its political enemies, Sen. Ted Cruz said in a speech Thursday.
“Using the machinery of government to target your political enemies is wrong. It was wrong when Nixon did it, and it’s wrong now,” the Texas Republican told an audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Cruz characterized the nation’s current disagreements over religious freedom as part of an unbroken struggle waged since the days of the pilgrims.
Citing Obamacare’s birth control mandate for hospitals, Cruz declared, “the government has no business ordering Americans to contravene their faith.”
Cruz also expressed concern over possible violations of Americans’ privacy after revelations of secret phone and internet surveillance on a massive scale by the National Security Agency. He deplored efforts to ignore constitutional privacy rights and violate the Fourth Amendment.
“We have to protect our constitutional rights and our Fourth Amendment rights as law-abiding citizens. And security should not be an excuse for the federal government to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.”
When asked about Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and HouseSpeaker John Boehner’s public accusations of treason against NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Cruz stated that Snowden may have done a great public service for the American people:
“It depends on what the facts are. It depends what specific policy it is. It also depends on who Mr. Snowden, who he is, what his motives are, and what exactly his conduct was. If it is the case of the administration having place a program that is violating the constitutional rights of American Citizens, Mr. Snowden drew that to everyone’s attention — then he may well have done an important public service.”
However, the freshman senator later told The Daily Caller that there should not be a rush for judgment due to speculation over Mr. Snowden’s actions.
“At the same time, if it is the case that he was operating from malicious motives, if it’s the case he defects to a foreign nation as there has been some press speculation that he might, if it is the case that his disclosure have damaged US national security — then there are consequences violating the law. And I think we should not rush to judgement until we know what the facts are,” Cruz told TheDC.
“I think we need to determine what exactly the Obama administration’s policy has been,” Cruz continued. “We don’t know. There have been a lot of questions raised by this so called whistle-blower. And right now, the Obama administration is essentially saying, ‘Trust us’.”
At the same time, Cruz highlighted the administration’s failure to prevent multiple terrorist attacks on American citizens.
“One of the unfortunate failures of the Obama administration is that they demonstrated over and over again that when we have specific credible intelligence on terrorists, they dropped the ball and the result has been catastrophic terrorist attacks that have claimed innocent lives.”
According to the tea party favorite, after a litany of scandals the current administration has lost the trust of the American people.
“Unfortunately, the trust and credibility of this administration has been seriously diminished,” Cruz said, “by the abuses we have seen with the IRS, with Benghazi, with the secretary of Health and Human Services trying to shake down the companies she regulates. And so before we determine how to fix the current policy — we need to determine what that is. There is no doubt that the United States needs to be vigorous [in] going after radical Islamic terrorists.”