On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released a video to Breitbart News exclusively in which he argued that the surveillance state under President Obama had grown beyond any reasonable proportions. “We were once outraged and dismayed and spurred to resist when British soldiers came knocking at our door with illegitimate warrants seeking taxes on our papers. Today,” Paul continued, “your government responds that there is no expectation of privacy once you consign your records to a third party. Your government applies that the Fourth Amendment applies not at all to your bank records, your Visa bill, your internet searches or purchases or emails. If not resistance, shouldn’t there at least be outrage?”
Paul said, “Imagine for a moment what information could be gathered from your Visa bill,” mentioning health information, political information, and personal information. “Are we so afraid of terrorists that we are willing to give up the very freedoms that separate us from them?” Paul asked.
He mentioned pro-surveillance senators who argued that Americans were not being spied upon, showing a picture of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The surveillance state was made to disappear through the legerdemain of defining it out of existence,” Paul stated.
Citing The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, Paul explained, “Kundera captures the heart of the debate: the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting…against allowing the state to define away its usurpations. Will we allow defenders of the surveillance state to airbrush history and define away the notion of spying? Will we sit idly by as our expectation of freedom is defined downward?”
He added, “Will we be sunshine patriots, or will we stand up like free men and women and say, ‘Enough is enough, we want our freedoms back’?”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.