It is my intent to repeal the USA Patriot Act and any legislation similar to it, in order to preserve our civil liberties and protect the privacy of U.S. citizens. I will be sponsoring legislation to remove this law from our books. Far too often legislation is passed hurriedly, without worrying about the possible implications. This is one of those incidents. On September 11, 2001, we were infamously attacked by terrorists, and the Patriot Act was a knee jerk reaction that the federal government put in place with the intent to combat terrorism. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as we see with this act. The problem with the law is how it is so vast and vague in scope, but all-encompassing in the power it grants the executive branch, that it is easily abused, while blatantly contradicting two key amendments in our Bill of Rights (the 4th and 5th), effectively creating a greater risk of the loss of freedom for our Citizens, than the very terrorists, which this act was designed to defeat, can pose.
The only measure that can be taken to ensure our liberty is protected is a full repeal. Once that happens, I will work with other members of the House and Senate to create a step by step process to ensure that the American people are protected from attacks by terrorist groups, while eliminating the measures that pose threat to our liberty. It is a complex issue that requires attention to the most minute of details, each of which must be addressed one step at a time, not all at once by a sweeping bill like the USA Patriot Act.
Many politicians are afraid of this approach saying things like: “It slows down the legislative process,” but to ensure the rights of the American people are protected, that is exactly what must be done. We shall not live in fear of any man, most especially our own government.
I also stand ready to repeal authorization for the existence of the National Security Agency, which has gone far beyond any scope of protection and has become a privacy violating organization of not only U.S. citizens, but our allies as well.
Lastly, I will be introducing legislation that reaffirms our 4th amendment rights. No government agency should be allowed to get rubber stamp warrants. We must be deliberate in our application of warrants being issued, with narrow scope for actual suspected crimes, and only upon probable cause that a reasonable and prudent person can determine. Blanket warrants are unacceptable.