Senator Rand Paul:
No one objects to balancing security against liberty. No one objects to seeking warrants for targeted monitoring based on probable cause. We’ve always done this.
What is objectionable is a system in which government has unlimited and privileged access to the details of our private affairs, and citizens are simply supposed to trust that there won’t be any abuse of power. This is an absurd expectation. Americans should trust the National Security Agency as much as they do the IRS and Justice Department.
It’s a shame the Justice Department has fallen into such a state, but from John Ashcroft to Eric Holder, it hasn’t been in the best of hands these last doezen years or so. When I was younger, I remember the IRS was treated as something we had the obligation to mock, combined with a little fear of its power. That strikes me, in a free country, as a healthy reaction to an agency with so much reach and power. Now that we have some of that fear back, it’s time we tamed the beast.