Ron Paul on Homeland Security

Last Updated : Jan 19, 2012

Summary

Congressman Paul opposed the PATRIOT Act and it's re-authorization. He was one of three Republicans to vote against it. He opposes warrant-less wiretaps and the use of torture on prisoners. He has been an outspoken critic on the weakening of habeas corpus rights in the US and has consistently advocated for the repeal of the PATRIOT Act.

In 2001, Congressman Paul spoke against the PATRIOT Act and noted that there was much the US could do within the law to address terrorism. Congressman Paul notes that the PATRIOT Act is not limited to acts of terrorism, but can be applied to many normal crimes within the US. He also states that the provisions centralizing the power to issue writs of habeas corpus to federal courts located in the District of Columbia. He states that habeas corpus is one of the most powerful checks on government and anything which burdens the ability to exercise this right expands the potential for government abuses of liberty.

One item that Congressman Paul has consistently pointed to in addressing the flaws in the PATRIOT Act is the sunsetting of certain provisions. He notes that if these provisions (such as wiretapping) are not violations of civil liberties, then there is no need to sunset them. If they do violate civil liberties, then they should not be enacted as the loss of liberty in war time is never reasserted in peace time. The fact that the "war on terror" will have no definitive end is further cause for concern.

Since the passage of the PATRIOT Act, Congressman Paul has warned of an emerging police state in America. He notes the rise of government power and the use of the war on terror to create a department of Homeland Security - a department he urged strongly not to create. He asserts that most police states are elected by the people with the understanding that they are necessary at the time, but newly enacted provisions will eventually subside. He states that terror and fear are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The changes, they are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary, such as those that occur in times of a declared war. Under these conditions, most citizens believe that once the war is won, the restrictions on their liberties will be reversed. For the most part, however, after a declared war is over, the return to normalcy is never complete. In an undeclared war, without a precise enemy and therefore no precise ending, returning to normalcy can prove illusory. This reasoning is part of Congressman Paul's opposition to the PATRIOT Act and it's reauthorizations.

Congressman Paul also opposed the FISA amendments in 2005 that gave immunity to telecommunications companies that gave the government user's data, and further authorized bulk data collection. Congressman Paul stated that the legislation clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. He also noted that the measure deprived Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them.

In November of 2010, Congressman Paul introduced the Traveler's Rights Act to prohibit TSA screening, prevent a TSA from touching a traveler, and prevent the use of scanners. He notes that a person does not cede their rights when they buy a plane ticket. Congressman Paul also notes that the government's job is to protect our rights and not to prevent every possible accident or tragedy.

Congressman Paul opposed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which provided the President with the authority to arrest and detain US citizens who are suspected of being terrorists.

 

Floor Remarks on the PATRIOT Act

During the discussions on the PATRIOT Act, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor and discussed the PATRIOT Act and his views that it could be detrimental to American Security. These remarks were taken from the Thomas system for October 12, 2001 (H6768).

  

The Police State

In June of 2002, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the emerging police state in America. The speech is very long, and we have not been able to find video to accompany it.

 

Opposition to the Creation of the Department of Homeland Security

In July of 2002, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about his opposition to the creation of a department of homeland security (H5094).

On July 26, 2002, Congressman Paul again spoke on the House floor about his opposition to the reorganization of various departments into the Department of Homeland Security.

 

Opposing the PATRIOT Act

In 2003, Congressman Paul spoke at a political event and discussed the PATRIOT Act at length. He notes that as a Congressman, the chief duty is to abide by the Constitution.

 

Reconsidering the PATRIOT Act

In May of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" edition to address the reconsidering of the PATRIOT Act. He notes that the PATRIOT Act waters down the fourth amendment.

 

Don't Reauthorize the PATRIOT Act

In July of 2005, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about his desire to see the PATRIOT Act ended.

 

The PATRIOT Act - Four Years Later

In July of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the PATRIOT Act four years after it's passage. He notes that the PATRIOT Act was recently reauthorized for another 10 years.

 

Domestic Surveillance

In December of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address domestic surveillance and the PATRIOT Act.

 

SAFE Port Act

In May of 2006, Congressman Paul released a press statement noting his support for the SAFE Port Act.

 

Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act

In September of 2006, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor in opposition to the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

  

Campaign Video

In 2007, the Ron Paul campaign issued a video discussing the Real ID and the PATRIOT Act.

 

FISA Amendments

In March of 2008, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the proposed FISA Amendments. He asked that the legislation be rejected.

 

Passage of FISA Amendments

After the passage of the FISA amendments, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about his disappointment in their passage.

 

The Emerging Surveillance State

In April of 2008, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the emerging state of continual surveillance in the United States.

 

On the Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy

In July of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to note the effects of the oversized intelligence agencies.

 

Are All Air Travelers Suspects

In November of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the growing opposition to TSA pat downs and scanners in airports.

 

Traveler's Dignity Act

In November of 2010, Congressman Paul appeared on CNN and spoke about the Traveler's Dignity Act.

 

Opposition to TSA Actions

In January of 2011, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the 2011 congress and the need to stand up against the actions of the TSA.

 

Reauthorization of Certain Aspects of the PATRIOT Act

In February of 2011, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the 4th amendment and possible reauthorization of certain aspects of the PATRIOT Act.

 

CNN National Security Debate

On November 22, 2011 Congressman Paul participated in the CNN debate on national security. He stated that he did not agree with the PATRIOT Act and that the US should not trade liberty for security.

 

Huckabee Forum

In December of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Huckabee Presidential Forum. The forum was not a debate, each candidate was asked questions separately on the constitution, the PATRIOT Act, and other items. During that forum, he noted his opposition to the PATRIOT Act, stating that it would not have passed had it been named appropriately as the repeal of the fourth amendment.

 

CBS Foreign Policy Debate

In Novemebr of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the CBS foreign policy debate. He was asked about his support for waterboarding and responds that he does not support the tactic.

 

2012 NDAA

In January of 2012, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about his opposition to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

 

Campaign Website Statements 

 

Voting Record

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens

In December of 2011, the House voted on the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - HR 1540. Part of that legislation was a provision to express the authorization of the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. The only requirement for this was that the person be suspected of allying with al-Qaida. The legislation passed 283-136. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010

In October of 2010, the House voted on a funding bill for Homeland Security. Buried within that legislation was language to prevent any funds from being used to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the US or to their home nation. Also in that funding bill was a definition that made photos taken of prisoners at Guantanamo bay classified and unable to be released. The act passed the House 258-163. Ron Paul voted against the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.

Ron Paul voted against the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.

FISA Amendment Acts of 2008

In June of 2008, the House voted on the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support 293-129, but was never raised in the Senate. The legislation primarily contained provisions to allow for the monitoring of terrorists overseas that were a continuation of expired provisions in the Protect America Act. It also granted immunity to telecommunications companies against their customers for giving information to the government without a warrant. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007 was a bill that sought to allow electronic surveillance of people reasonable believed to be outside of the United States. The bill lists the requirements for initiating surveillance and gives it a 1 year limitation. The bill passed in the House in a 227-183 vote. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

Military Commission Act of 2006

The Military Commissions Act passed in response to a supreme court ruling which stated that stated that military tribunals established by the Bush administrations did not align with the UCMJ. The Act defined unlawful enemy combatants and allowed for the military tribunals to be held. It passed the House 250-170. Ron Paul voted against the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Ron Paul voted against the Military Commission Act of 2006.

Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act

In September of 2006, Congress passed the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act by a margin of 232-191. Specifically, the legislation made FISAs definition of electronic surveillance technology-neutral in terms of wire and radio communications, Updated the definition of who is covered under FISA, provided the President with the authority to collect electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order for up to 90 days after an armed attack or a terrorist attack, and strengthened congressional oversight of the surveillance program through notification and reporting requirements. Ron Paul voted against the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

Ron Paul voted against the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006

The USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006 was a bill that sought to allow electronic surveillance of people reasonable believed to be outside of the United States. The bill lists the requirements for initiating surveillance and gives it a 1 year limitation. The bill passed in the House in a 227-183 vote. Ron Paul voted against reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

Ron Paul voted against reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002

In July 2002, the House passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Among other things, the act created the Department of Homeland Security, and set forth the jurisdiction of that department. In the vote, almost all Republicans supported the legislation and a moderate percentage of Democrats supported it. Ron Paul voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Ron Paul voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

The Patriot Act

In October of 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Although the act passed the senate with moderate support from Democrats, it has become one of the more divisive pieces of legislation. This is partly due to the expansion of governmental wiretapping privileges. Ron Paul voted against the PATRIOT Act.

Ron Paul voted against the PATRIOT Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 459; Military Tribunals for Terrorists Act 2011 - Prime Sponsor

Requires trial only by a military commission for any foreign national who: (1) engages or has engaged in an offense relating to a terrorist attack against persons or property in the United States or U.S. government property or personnel outside the United States; and (2) is subject to trial for that offense by a military commission under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 893; American Anti-Torture Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to prohibit any person in the custody or control of the United States (under current law, the Department of Defense) from being subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations. Makes such prohibition inapplicable with respect to any person in the custody or control of the United States (under current law, the Department of Defense) pursuant to a U.S. criminal or immigration law.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1399; Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To provide for the implementation of the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 4114; American Anti-Torture Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Amends the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to prohibit any person in the custody or control of the United States (under current law, the Department of Defense) from being subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 3835; American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 - Prime Sponsor

Repeals the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Authorizes the President to establish military commissions for the trial of war crimes only in places of active hostilities against the United States where an immediate trial is necessary to preserve fresh evidence or to prevent local anarchy. Prohibits the President from detaining any individual indefinitely as an unlawful enemy combatant absent proof by substantial evidence that the individual has directly engaged in active hostilities against the United States. Prohibits the detention of any U.S. citizen as an unlawful enemy combatant. Entitles any individual detained as an enemy combatant by the United States to petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Prohibits any civilian or military tribunal of the United States from admitting as evidence statements extracted from the defendant by torture or coercion.

User Comments