Rand Paul’s Stupid Lawsuit

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In case you missed it, Senator Rand Paul and FreedomWorks filed a lawsuit against President Obama, DNI James Clapper, and NSA Director Keith Alexander today using language that suggests to me they have no idea what they’re talking about.

“We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user all the time, without limits, without individualization,” Paul said at a press conference in front of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. [...]

“We believe that this lawsuit could conceivably represent hundreds of millions of people who have phones lines in this country or cell phones,” he said.

There are strict limits on the information the NSA is authorized to collect, and to delve deeper into an individual record the agency is, in fact, required to seek special permission.

Amusingly, Paul is being represented by former state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a man who sought to march government into your bedroom and ban blowjobs in Virginia, and the language he used while announcing the lawsuit was even more incoherent.

He says intelligence officials should obtain individualized warrants for tracking phone data.

“I’m not against looking at phone records. I just want you to go to a judge, have a person’s name and individualize a warrant,” he said.

Ken isn’t against looking at phone records, he just wants the agency to do something they’re already require to do if they want to review an individual, specific record.

The NSA does not collect names in their bulk collection program. Is Cuccinelli saying that they should? How can the NSA present a name if they don’t even know who they’re looking for to begin with? Does Cuccinelli understand any of this?

Several members of the administration have responded to Paul’s ridiculous lawsuit with a few inconvenient facts.

“We believe the program as it exists is lawful,” Hayden said by e-mail, addressing the data collection generally. “It has been found to be lawful by multiple courts. And it receives oversight from all three branches of government.”

“We remain confident that the Section 215 telephone metadata program is legal, as at least 15 judges have previously found,” Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

As a member of Congress Rand Paul is entitled to briefings on the NSA’s activities, but that’s not what this is about. This is a media stunt that will net him praise from his usual cult of followers and dopes and chumps on the left who can’t see the forest for the trees.

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  • muselet

    Paul, a Tea Party star, called it the largest class-action lawsuit ever filed on behalf of the Bill of Rights.

    I didn’t know Rand Paul’s presidential ambitions were in the Bill of Rights. Learn something every day.

    –alopecia

  • vp

    Excellent Bob.

  • 1933john

    With any luck, Judge Judy will hear this lawsuit..

  • D_C_Wilson

    Not knowing what he was talking about has never stopped Randy before, why should it now?

    This reminds me of the time he held up a nomination just so he could ask Eric Holder if the president had the authority to kill American citizens on US soil with drone strikes. Holder sent him a letter with a “no” that was so clear even Randy could understand it.

  • mrbrink

    That’s adorable. The Confederacy is declaring war again in full regalia. Yes, they’re imbeciles, intellectually-violent, but they file frivolous lawsuits really well.

    Blue dress politics.

    They have no idea what they’re talking about, but they want the government to do it.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Rand Paul is the lemming at the front of the crowd and Cuccinelli has moved up to second.

  • Tbone

    The greatest thing about this is thanks dad is now being accused of plagiarizing the lawsuit!

    And the onion finally dies.