Ted Cruz: Let’s not rush to judgment on NSA surveillance

posted at 2:09 pm on June 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Examiner, a short but noteworthy clip insofar as it exposes a potential fault line between Cruz and Rand Paul. McCain lumps them together as “wacko birds” but I’m not so sure that’s true of Cruz on national-security issues. His alliance with Paul interests me because it strikes me as a personification of the uneasy libertarian/tea-party alliance. The groups overlap heavily on spending issues, and both are deeply suspicious of Obama’s expansion of government. The master stroke of Paul’s drone filibuster was that he found a sweet spot for both, making the philosophical case for due process while humiliating O for having turned into such a hypocrite about it. Even so, no matter how much Paul sometimes likes to pretend that the tea party is synonymous with libertarianism (for his own strategic reasons), various polls show that it just isn’t so. Tea partiers are more socially conservative than doctrinaire libertarians, they’re more likely to support entitlements, and they’re more traditionally Republican on defense/security issues. That’s not to say that they’re not becoming more libertarian — polls lately show Republicans are more skeptical about NSA surveillance than Democrats are, although that’s probably for partisan reasons — but they’re not all Ron Paul fans either. That’s why Rand is usually quick to claim the tea-party label. The more he gets TPers thinking of themselves as allied with him, then theoretically the more receptive they’ll be to his libertarian ideals.

McCain doesn’t seem to understand the difference between them but comparing Paul’s reaction to the NSA revelations to Cruz’s is instructive. Paul’s first instinct was to organize a class-action lawsuit and accuse the NSA of an “extraordinary invasion of [Americans'] privacy.” Cruz, by contrast, says the revelations are “cause for concern” but urges Fox viewers to reserve judgment until we know more about the programs. And from the looks of it here, his chief objection seems to be that this particular administration can’t be trusted with NSA’s surveillance tools in light of the IRS scandal, not necessarily that any administration can’t be trusted with it. He may very well end up joining Paul’s lawsuit, but I suspect that’ll be aimed at impressing libertarians whose votes he’ll need if he ends up running for president someday just as Rand often tempers his own libertarianism in order to impress more mainstream tea-party conservatives. Cruz’s ally, Sarah Palin (who returned to Fox this morning, although she doesn’t speak in this clip) seems to be taking a position similar to his lately. From her speech at the Faith and Freedom Conference on Saturday:

“The scandals infecting this city, they are a symptom of a bigger disease, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat sitting atop a bloated boot on your neck, out of control government, everybody gets infected, no party is immune,” Palin said. “That’s why, I tell you, I’m listening to those independents, those libertarians, who are saying, it is both sides of the aisle, the leadership, the good ol’ boys in the party on both sides of the aisle, they perpetuate the problem.”…

Palin also took on the “pandering, rewarding the rule breakers, still-no-border security, special interest written amnesty bill,” especially ribbing Jeb Bush for his fertility comment yesterday. “I think it’s kind of touchy territory to want to debate this over one race’s fertility over another, and I say that as someone who’s kinda fertile herself.”

Obama didn’t evade Palin’s lashing, either. “Where is our commander in chief?” Palin asked. “We’re talking now more new interventions? I say, until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing—well, chief, in these radical Islamic countries, aren’t even respecting basic human rights, when both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line ‘Allah ak-bar’—I say, let Allah sort it out.”

I suspect Cruz would agree with every word, and that her former running mate would disagree with most or all of it. (Palin advocated “Cruz control” for Washington in the speech, in fact.) She doesn’t want any more interventions under a strategist as poor as Obama — but she’s not against intervention in principle. She wants America to listen more to the libertarians, but when it comes to the lousy Gang of Eight bill, she rightly opposes it for its weak border security — even though libertarians are famously comfortable with weak borders. None of this is contradictory; most tea partiers would, I take it, agree that America needs more libertarianism while maybe not quite so much as Ron Paul supporters would prefer. The point is, though, there are real differences between Cruz and Rand Paul and I think we’re getting a hint of one in the clip. And the longer the national debate stays stuck on liberty-versus-security issues, the more obvious I think those differences will be.


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Hoo boy.

thebrokenrattle on June 17, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Goddammit.

Okay folks, which are you supporting:

1. Limited government
2. “Your” big government

MadisonConservative on June 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I’m okay with differences between Cruz and Paul.

It’s the differences between Cruz/Paul/Lee and Graham/McCain/etc that I’m worried about.

gophergirl on June 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Nobody is rushing to judgement. What a lame thing to say.

VorDaj on June 17, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Ted, hermano, why you want to shoot yerself in the foot?

Where in NSA’s charter does it spell out that NSA is a domestic government tool? It is a DoD activity. Its charter is to protect the US from foreign threats. Not a law enforcement activity.

If you cannot understand the Constitutionality issues around Prism and other NSA programs targeting Americans inside the United States…well…you’ve just lost any hope of being a significant player on the Right.

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

I’m okay with differences between Cruz and Paul.

It’s the differences between Cruz/Paul/Lee and Graham/McCain/etc that I’m worried about.

gophergirl on June 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Yep.

kim roy on June 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

video link isn’t working

workingclass artist on June 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

And from the looks of it here, his chief objection seems to be that this particular administration can’t be trusted with NSA’s surveillance tools in light of the IRS scandal, not necessarily that any administration can’t be trusted with it.

Then he’s an idiot who should mistrust government to the same degree the guys who wrote the Constitution did.

Sooner or later someone will come along who will use those powers against the people and that is why they should be so limited.

sharrukin on June 17, 2013 at 2:22 PM

She doesn’t want any more interventions under a strategist as poor as Obama…

I like Palin, but what makes her think Obama’s strategy isn’t working out exactly as designed?

Fenris on June 17, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Well,… okay. I kinda thought omg-top-sekret surveillance of the American citizenry by the federal government might be a not-so-good affair.

But I’ll wait…

Jeddite on June 17, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Did Cruz attend that special Senate briefing on NSA?

If not, why not?

If so, then where is he coming up with this, now?

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Then he’s an idiot who should mistrust government to the same degree the guys who wrote the Constitution did.

Sooner or later someone will come along who will use those powers against the people and that is why they should be so limited.

sharrukin on June 17, 2013 at 2:22 PM

This.

MadisonConservative on June 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Cruz, by contrast, says the revelations are “cause for concern” but urges Fox viewers to reserve judgment until we know more about the programs. And from the looks of it here, his chief objection seems to be that this particular administration can’t be trusted with NSA’s surveillance tools in light of the IRS scandal, not necessarily that any administration can’t be trusted with it.

I gotta disagree with Cruz on this one. The NSA should have the capability it needs for national security but with the normal reasons for snooping like probable cause. Gathering and keeping all this data on Americans “because we can” is not probable cause. If the NSA wants to snoop they need a signed warrant from the FISA court that spells out the limitations of their snooping and, again, every phone call in America is not a reasonable limitation.

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Yep.

kim roy on June 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

No politican is perfect and I’m not going to agree with one 100% of the time.

Cruz, Paul, Lee are good men and are about the only three fighting tooth and nail for us in that town.

gophergirl on June 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Conservative dreamboat Ted Cruz is reserving judgment on intrusive big government.

Doesn’t sound very “conservative” to me.

Meredith on June 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I thought Snowden went far enough in today’s online forum.

What he did say is that the analysts have the means to go much further than the law allows. It will only be a matter of time before those means are used.

J_Crater on June 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

When, then, is it time to make a call on this fiasco? NSA already admitted it’s been collecting data on Americans without warrants, going so far as to say they don’t need warrants in the first place.

Might as well say the same thing — ‘let’s not rush to judgement’ — about a serial killer who willingly confesses and even boasts about his crimes.

Liam on June 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

The CIA and FBI knew of the suspicious activity of the Boston bombers, of Major Hasan and of Anwar al-Awlaki and yet they did nothing to stop or even lessen their violence. The FBI is said to be carefully avoiding monitoring mosques and scrupulously avoiding any focus at all on Middle Eastern male Muslims, even though Middle Eastern male Muslims have been involved in the vast majority of terrorist plots and attacks. All throughout the Federal Government any references or training connecting Islam in any way to terrorism is being systematically purged. They avoid monitoring any hate spewing and violence inciting mosque like they plague.

All of which proves they are not even looking for terrorists. It’s like someone telling you they are fishing for salmon but they refuse to go within a hundred miles of any body of water. Their lies would be absolutely hilarious for their absurdity if not so tragic.

Who is ObamaZod’s NSA Stasi spying on with little shot of a proctology exam? You! Not Terrorists. Look at who ObamaZod’s IRS Gestapo went after. Followers of Mohammad? No. Followers of the Founding Fathers.

As Barry Goldwater said about “the end justifies the means” (and it’s not even like all this totalitarian crap is even making us any safer) – if ever there was a philosophy of government totally at war with that of the Founding Fathers and their Constitution and Bill of Rights, it is this one.

“You [demagogues] are like the fishers for eels; in still waters they catch nothing, but if they thoroughly stir up the slime, their fishing is good; in the same way it’s only in troublous times that you line your pockets [or your power].”
― Aristophanes

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines [like security if there is enough of the Bill of Rights and civil rights shreded] he knows to be untrue to men he knows [or at least hopes] to be idiots ”
– H. L . Mencken

VorDaj on June 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Okay folks, which are you supporting:

1. Limited government
2. “Your” big government

MadisonConservative on June 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I want a government big enough to secure our lives, property and freedom but limited enough to threaten none of these things. Thus I support both the development of technical capabilities for my protection and the “division of power” between branches of government, between Federal State and Local levels of government and between the government that governs and the governed that chooses the government; so those capabilities do not turn on the people.

KW64 on June 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Do they have something on everyone?

claudius on June 17, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Did Cruz attend that special Senate briefing on NSA?

If not, why not?

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 2:24 PM

A better question.

Marco Rubio is on the Senate Select Intelligence committee. Yet, he only gives passing mention of border security as a national security issue when pushing his amnesty scheme.

Why isn’t he more concerned about protecting Americans than he is about abetting the illegals crimes against the nation?

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Remember back when the Patriot Act somehow allowed government to ask libraries what kind of books you checked out?

The Left was all shrill and stuff…rabidly so.

The horror, the horror…

But, now, today, under Obama…NSA collects, stores, exploits billions of tera-bytes of information and data on American citizens, without warrant, without probable cause, and in open defiance of the Fourth Amendment…

Still waiting for the million-liberal march on DC on this one.

Must be having some sort of problem chartering all those air-conditioned deluxe buses, or something.

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Are we supposed to believe that Rand Paul, a guy who’s weaker on unlawful immigration than Cruz, has taken the less emotional approach between the 2 of them on NSA scandal?

Sorry, I’m not buying it – to say, “Let’s not rush to judgment on NSA surveillance” is a perfectly reasonable statement – it’s not like he said, “The NSA is just fine, and we don’t need to concern ourselves with it.”

Anti-Control on June 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

-3 points.

An embarrassing day for Texas.

madmonkphotog on June 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Ok Ted…You look into that and get back to the rest of us…cause I’m sure the DOJFBICIANHSDOD will be totally honest with American Citizens.

workingclass artist on June 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

KW64 on June 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

That “separation of powers” is dead. The government has already turned on certain parts of the people based on their political beliefs.

So, I ask again: which do you support?

MadisonConservative on June 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

NSA already admitted it’s been collecting data on Americans without warrants, going so far as to say they don’t need warrants in the first place.

Liam on June 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

They went further than that. Clapper and Alexander both lied to Congress when asked directly if the NSA was spying on Americans. I’ll repeat they lied to Congress about the scope of the NSA espionage program against Americans.

We can debate capability and process forever but the conclusions are pretty damned clear as far as I am concerned. Clapper and Alexander must go. The NSA must be put back under control of the rule of law and Constitution instead of this lawless and intrusive data grab.

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Anti-Control on June 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

That’s kind of my take on it. There is probably a bit of partisan bone-throwing going on here, but his intent most likely is “hey there’s more that we don’t know, lets wait a bit more.

nobar on June 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM

NSA is NOT spying on muzies and mosks.
That’s all we need to know about it’s intent.

burrata on June 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM

The NSA must be put back under control of the rule of law and Constitution instead of this lawless and intrusive data grab.

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Agreed.

Liam on June 17, 2013 at 2:38 PM

This is starting to feel like The Invasion of the Pod People.

claudius on June 17, 2013 at 2:38 PM

You can’t keep leaving the borders wide open and invading the privacy of our citizens while claiming protection. I may be dumb but I am not stupid. And AP, I’m not married to entitlements, they can give me my money back and not force me on to medicare.

Cindy Munford on June 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

“…a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing…”

How many of those several hundred troops now looking at Syria over the Jordanian border are going to be hung out to dry, Benghazi-style?

Another Drew on June 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

It will only be a matter of time before those means are used.

J_Crater on June 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Only a matter of time before they are used on even more people. But let’s not rush to judgment. Let’s wait until the cancer is at stage V. It’s only at stage III or IV now, so let’s not rush to judgment and do anything. We should probably wait for the funeral before we make any judgments.

VorDaj on June 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM

My take is that Cruz isn’t cool with the domestic part of the NSA spying but is OK with the original intent of the Patriot Act. Unfortunately, the Act was written too broadly to allow what is apparently going on now. If the point is to root out foreign enemies, it needs to focus on people who are foreign to the US.

Bitter Clinger on June 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Tea partiers are more socially conservative than doctrinaire libertarians, they’re more likely to support entitlements, and they’re more traditionally Republican on defense/security issues.

I’d say the Tea Party support vis-a-vis libertarians is a distinction without difference. The rabid entitlement supprorters are the enemy of both groups. Push comes to shove I don’t see it as a wedge issue if the enemy is pushing Obamaphones and proud of the fact that record numbers of Americans are on food stamps.

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

If you are going to do data mining, one phone or the other better pick up in a foreign country first. Foreign communications don’t have the protections domestic communications do. If you get a pattern from a domestic number that looks hinky (multiple ten-second calls to hostile nations followed by longer calls from throwaway cell phones in said hostile nations), you take that info to court and get a warrant before you get any more information about that domestic number!

Frankly, I don’t think an 0bama regime that uses the IRS to target domestic political opponents has that sense of restraint

Sekhmet on June 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

If you are going to do data mining, one phone or the other better pick up in a foreign country first. Foreign communications don’t have the protections domestic communications do. If you get a pattern from a domestic number that looks hinky (multiple ten-second calls to hostile nations followed by longer calls from throwaway cell phones in said hostile nations), you take that info to court and get a warrant before you get any more information about that domestic number!

Frankly, I don’t think an 0bama regime that uses the IRS to target domestic political opponents has that sense of restraint

Sekhmet on June 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

This^^^^^.

Bitter Clinger on June 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

If you are going to do data mining, one phone or the other better pick up in a foreign country first.

Sekhmet on June 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

That’s the part that makes me the most angry and why Clapper and Alexander need to go as traitors. Up until they couldn’t deny the scope and breadth of their espionage on Americans they claimed the process you spelled out. Suspicious foreign communication tied to a US number. Not once did they mention that they were collecting all the domestic information for no other reason than they can. Clapper and Alexander lied under oath about what their agency was and is doing. They cannot be trusted any more than the administration.

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

It’s those contours that the peons will never see…The State Run Media is not interested in showing the man behind the curtain in either the NSA or the IRS. The peons might get out of control.

d1carter on June 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

MadisonConservative on June 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

The powers are not completely imbalanced just tilted in one direction right now. Hopefully, a needed reweighting of power will come in 2014 and another in 2016. In the meantime, those tempted to abuse the people’s rights should be reminded that the pendulum will not always swing their way and a good example would be to see the House call for indictment of the IRS’s ideolgues who abused their power so that people intimidated by political appointee bosses fear losing their jobs less than they fear losing their freedom.

KW64 on June 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Remember back when the Patriot Act somehow allowed government to ask libraries what kind of books you checked out?

The Left was all shrill and stuff…rabidly so.

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

It’s funny how many on the Left don’t see a problem with asking about the books that TP groups were reading, the prayers of pro-life groups, the religious position on Israel of pro-Israel groups, etc.

Resist We Much on June 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Unfortunately, the Act was written too broadly to allow what is apparently going on now. If the point is to root out foreign enemies, it needs to focus on people who are foreign to the US.

Bitter Clinger on June 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I don’t think the Act was written too broadly. They are essentially mis-using a proviso to spy on Americans without a warrant or probable cause. And even if their dubious claim that they have foiled “dozens” of potential terrorist activities the cost in terms of civil rights is too high.

But more to the point, there has not been a single act of domestic terrorism since this administration took office (by their account, not mine). Why the need for a massive illegal spying operation if not for political purposes like targeting opponents of the rat-eared tyrant? I still want a forensic analysis of the OFA database by an outside party.

Happy Nomad on June 17, 2013 at 2:51 PM

That’s kind of my take on it. There is probably a bit of partisan bone-throwing going on here, but his intent most likely is “hey there’s more that we don’t know, lets wait a bit more.

nobar on June 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I think something like that.

I’ve already said at HA that I believe 0dumba has far overstepped bounds with surveillance, and I highly doubt that Cruz would categorize my statement as a “rush to judgement.”

Anti-Control on June 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Forgive me if I don’t run out like a couple talk radio hosts we all know and deify Mr. Snowden. Especially given his recent statements that strike one as a mix between a Ron Paul Nut and Michael Moore.

AYNBLAND on June 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Forgive me if I don’t run out like a couple talk radio hosts we all know and deify Mr. Snowden.

AYNBLAND on June 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

What does liking or disliking Snowden have to do with it?

sharrukin on June 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I want to add my last post that if Cruz were to categorize my statement, based upon evidence, as a “rush to judgement,” then I’d say he was wrong.

Anti-Control on June 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Going on in smaller scale since the 70′s.

Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK.[16] At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.[17]

fred5678 on June 17, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Via Drudge :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stt2pavh39w&feature=youtu.be
VIDEO: James O’Keefe turns tables; Goes after prosecutor…

burrata on June 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Forgive me if I don’t run out like a couple talk radio hosts we all know and deify Mr. Snowden.

AYNBLAND on June 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

What does liking or disliking Snowden have to do with it?

sharrukin on June 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Very little, that’s why I said “deify.” This guy may end up being guilty of espionage. He certainly, based on what I’ve read of his statements, possibly has a screw loose.

AYNBLAND on June 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Follow this

Schadenfreude on June 17, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Very little, that’s why I said “deify.”

AYNBLAND on June 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

So why do you keep bringing him up?

The point is what the NSA is doing and not doing and you seem oddly silent about that.

sharrukin on June 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

This guy may end up being guilty of espionage.
AYNBLAND on June 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

How and why because it is Hussein who is spying and not Snowdden ?

burrata on June 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

The problem isn’t that the NSA does this, it’s that it can. This just shows how horribly insecure the internet is. For PRISM to be this powerful means that they most likely can get bast SSL and TLS.

Neither is very surprising. Brute forcing it just takes enough computing horsepower and time. Doing it on a wide scale takes unimaginable computing horsepower and time, though, so I doubt they’re brute forcing it.

But, either way there are serious ramifications here. So many websites send out passwords in e-mails (which they shouldn’t do, but I digress). If the NSA already has your e-mail, now they have your login information to those sites. And if they have TLS and SSL, they can tap into your bank transactions as well, even without your passwords. But, with your passwords, they can pretend to be you. And, even if they don’t know the passwords, I have already dreamed up several ways an enterprising person with access to your e-mail could gain access to other sites. And I’ve only been thinking about it a few minutes.

Then what?

Say, some unscrupulous IRS agent has a big shot conservative he wants to target, but can’t find anything. He just calls up his buddy at the NSA and asks him to plant some evidence for him. Or, to do some extra digging into places the IRS can’t get to on their own.

I’m not saying that anyone has done this. What I’m saying is that altering or planting data requires much the same capabilities as spying. And no laws or oversight will eliminate such things. No matter what Ron or Rand Paul want.

The only way to protect ourselves is the free market way. As individuals, we need to demand that our e-mail providers and websites provide better security. We need digitally signed and encrypted e-mail. And we need to only do business with those companies who are willing to provide these capabilities.

This is a scary Big Brother moment, but the truth of the matter is that government only has this ability because we, as internet denizens, have been lazy, and allowed them to have it. New laws aren’t the answer. Laws won’t stop lawbreakers. The way you stop lawbreakers is you build better defenses.

Chris of Rights on June 17, 2013 at 3:09 PM

The idiots here are those who believed the lying anti-American leftist Greenwald and his punk source from the first. The stories are falling apart, so many lies.

But it’s worked pretty well for Obama, hasn’t it? Took the attention away from IRS, EPA, DOJ, and all the other incidences of criminal behavior and abuse of power, and turned the spotlight on some “national debate” which should by right be an ongoing one.

SUCKERS.

Adjoran on June 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I think many are missing the point here. The point is to find out his truly invasive the NSA ‘spying’ is; I wouldn’t be taking Snowden’s version on it as gospel; he’s looking every day more like a Chinese spy. The problem could be less- or worse- than he implies. Rushing to judgement could be a serious mistake.

michaelo on June 17, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Cruz is now dead to me. This is no time for patience.
/

slickwillie2001 on June 17, 2013 at 3:19 PM

The question is can you trust big government with big spying capabilities?

My compromise view would be a independent NSA oversight group of electrical/computer engineers, IT professionals, programmers, with some background in law and the constitution. They would be accountable and chosen by the legislative branch, not the executive branch. The reason why we need this independent oversight is because the typical congressman is not educated enough to understand what is true and not about the NSA. They basically don’t really understand the technology involved, and if you don’t understand that how can you give proper oversight to it?

For example how many of us could judge the safety of a new rocket design that someone was trying to sell us? We would need advice of a aerospace engineer or several engineers that are not associated with the people trying to sell us the rocket and are thus independent. What is happening right now is congress is taking the advice of the “seller” without getting a second opinion.

Basically the real problem that I see is the executive branch is now too big and has too much power. I don’t care who the president is either. It is time that the legislative branch get back some of its powers before it is too late.

William Eaton on June 17, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Sure…um, OK…in light of that whole fast and Furius thingy…and the Cincinnati IRS office somehow going rogue, all on their own, and targeting Tea Party and other less-than-Progressive outfits…and Benghazi…and now Syria…and our intentionally or unintentionally arming al-Qaeda in the Maghrib…yeah, I am willing to give the Obama Administration the benefit of the doubt.

Not.

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Mr. Cruz, expert on the constitution I hear, is plain wrong.
I don’t give a rat’s behind what the intentions of the NSA are.
Americans are protected by the constitution against unreasonable search and seizure. Searching and seizing our phone, internet, etc. records is
not allowed. Period. End of story.

If someone is suspected of being a terrorist, contributing to terrorist activities or some other crime, the NSA can go to a judge and get a warrant for probably cause.

Again ….. Nothing else is acceptable!

Amjean on June 17, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Conservative dreamboat Ted Cruz is reserving judgment on intrusive big government.

Doesn’t sound very “conservative” to me.

Meredith on June 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Well, heavens.We all know that he’s not “severely” conservative.

katy the mean old lady on June 17, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I know exactly what their intentions are in establishing the Orwellian NSA surveillance program, and the more I learn of the program itself(no thanks to Hot Air), the more I recoil in horror.

Anyone who counsels restraint in our response to these revelations is has completely lost all sense of perspective. But then again, Cruz was already compromised, in my opinion, due to his affiliation with the Republican Party.

And Hot Air seriously needs to stop it’s childish infatuation with Ed Snowden and start reporting on the program itself.

sartana on June 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

cruz and yoo are right:

under present constitutional rulings as precedent,

unless you look at content, the data-mining doesn’t violate the 4th amendment.

this has been reviewed before by the SCOTUS.

reliapundit on June 17, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Although big governement phony trying to mask himself as a populist.

Tom C on June 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM

granny needs to be spied on……</strong

Who knew?

PappyD61 on June 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Hoo boy. Ted Cruz has indulged the unforgivable sin of analyzing programs and agencies on a case-by-case basis. Libertarians to start demanding Cruz’s head on a platter in 3… 2… 1…

Stoic Patriot on June 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Guess the NSA pointed out the skeletons in Cruz’s closet. Oh, well as I have stated numerous times, time to secede(will probably get put in time out file) or form a new party.

they lie on June 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Why are Pubs. and so called conservatives defending this crapola more than the dems.? Everyday, it’s a Pub. defending this government tyranny. Says a lot about the Pubs.

they lie on June 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM

There’s nothing wrong with what he said. The federal government’s role in national security is constitution based. Surveillance is certainly not prohibited. It’s very clear that Obama has gone too far with it, but Cruz is talking generally, not specifically.

JannyMae on June 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Surveillance is certainly not prohibited.

JannyMae on June 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM

There are established legal means to do so, as a matter of law enforcement, and as a matter of counter-espionage and counter-terrorism…what NSA is doing, from the bits and pieces of various officials’ comments from Jim Clapper and others, is not within that constraint, hence…under our present Constitution…such is indeed prohibited.

coldwarrior on June 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Frankly, I don’t think an 0bama regime that uses the IRS to target domestic political opponents has that sense of restraint

Sekhmet on June 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

There is no guarantee that restraint will be present in administrations to follow, particularly when it all is bathed in secrecy and its top officials lie without penalty to oversight committees. We either set a precedent now or we don’t.

a capella on June 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM

cruz and yoo are right:

under present constitutional rulings as precedent,

unless you look at content, the data-mining doesn’t violate the 4th amendment.

this has been reviewed before by the SCOTUS.

reliapundit on June 17, 2013 at 3:46 PM

However, no one knows if that content is being evaluated, and under what circumstances do they? Checks and balances? LOL.

a capella on June 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Peter Thiel might be rethinking his funding of Cruz’s campaigns now. A “big government Cruz” is not what the Tea Party voted for.

ModerateMan on June 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Love Cruz.

bluegill on June 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

“Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will propose an amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill that would allow states to require ID before registering voters, after a Supreme Court announced a decision Monday striking down an Arizona law that required that people show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

“I’ll file amendment to immigration bill that permits states to require ID before registering voters & close this hole in fed statutory law,” Cruz tweeted Monday afternoon.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/17/cruz-will-file-immigration-amendment-allowing-states-to-require-proof-of-citizenship-for-voter-registration/#ixzz2WVvrHXiA

workingclass artist on June 17, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Says Obama:

You have my telephone number connecting with your telephone number. There are no names. There is no content in that database. All it is, is the number pairs, when those calls took place, how long they took place. So that database is sitting there. Now, if the NSA through some other sources, maybe through the FBI, maybe through a tip that went to the CIA, maybe through the NYPD. Get a number that where there’s a reasonable, articulable suspicion that this might involve foreign terrorist activity related to Al-Qaeda and some other international terrorist actors. Then, what the NSA can do is it can query that database to see did any of the — did this number pop up? Did they make any other calls? And if they did, those calls will be spit out. A report will be produced. It will be turned over to the FBI. At no point is any content revealed because there’s no content that —

I feel sorry for Kevin Bacon. NSA only has to go 6 layers deep and boom….he’s in an Al-Qaeda cell.

BobMbx on June 17, 2013 at 6:12 PM

ModerateMan on June 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Chill out, Modguy.
I’m a huge Cruz fan-in Texas-and I’ve ZERO problem w/ what he said.
I suspect the majority of Texans agree with me…and him.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 17, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Cruz is now dead to me. This is no time for patience.
/

slickwillie2001 on June 17, 2013 at 3:19 PM

From Breitbart…

“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said though he did not want to “rush to judgment” on the NSA’s phone and Internet surveillance programs, there was still “cause for concern.” He emphasized the Obama administration’s actions have made it difficult to trust the National Security Agency when it says, “trust us.”

Interviewed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on “Fox and Friends” on Monday, Cruz said the Obama administration’s response to the revelations of the NSA’s surveillance was yet another example of the Obama administration’s “willingness to use the machinery of government to implement political and partisan ends” and “mislead the American public.” He noted it was tough to just believe the NSA when the agency says, “trust us.”

“Part of the problem is that we’ve seen a pattern from the Obama administration…whether it’s the IRS, whether it’s targeting journalists, whether it’s Benghazi…a willingness to use the machinery of government to implement political and partisan ends, and then to mislead the American people,” he said. “Their conduct has not suggested they are trustworthy.”

Cruz said he would not “rush to judgment” about the NSA programs until he found out more about “the contours of the programs,” and said he, like most senators, had not been briefed on the surveillance programs before they came to light. Palin quipped that because Cruz was a freshman senator, “perhaps you didn’t get the memo.”

Cruz said the Constitution was designed to protect the American people from abuses of power and overreach by the federal government and that “it shouldn’t be trust that protects our liberties, it should be our Constitution.”

“You and I both know too much power in Washington is a dangerous thing,” Cruz said, noting that the foundation of the country was the idea that, “we don’t trust this administration or any administration.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/17/Cruz-Obama-Admin-Scandals-Make-It-Difficult-to-Trust-NSA

workingclass artist on June 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Cruz was one of the last politicians that I trusted. When McClintock turns, it’ll be over for me.

newportmike on June 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

I think this is a matter of knowing EXACTLY what the NSA has been doing. I now believe that Snowden might have overstated his case. Until we get trustworthy information this just isn’t much of an issue, but the IRS attacks and Benghazi stand down orders remain explosive.

DannoJyd on June 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

newportmike on June 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

You should still trust him.
What he said wasn’t anything outrageous.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 17, 2013 at 6:56 PM

The idiots here are those who believed the lying anti-American leftist Greenwald and his punk source from the first. The stories are falling apart, so many lies.

But it’s worked pretty well for Obama, hasn’t it? Took the attention away from IRS, EPA, DOJ, and all the other incidences of criminal behavior and abuse of power, and turned the spotlight on some “national debate” which should by right be an ongoing one.

SUCKERS.

Adjoran on June 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Could well be, but I’m thinking that if this was an authorized leak then the IRS one may have been as well? And Benghazi put Fast and Furious even further to the back of the stove than it already had been.

I wouldn’t put it past this administration to leak things or even manufacture disasters and take some minor hits in order to avoid some major, more damaging ones.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 17, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Read this also:

http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2428809

bluefox on June 17, 2013 at 9:23 PM

The contours of the program will always be arbitrary and capricious, depending upon the character of the Resident.

This is the reason why there is a 4th amendment.

One of two things has to happen. Either the state, including Cruz, Cheney, Obama, or whomever supports this overturns the 4th, through the constitutional amendment process,

or they crush the NSA domestic surveilance program, begging the entire country’s pardon for having conceived it, and salt the ground where it stood so that it will never be looked to as a viable government option again.

papertiger on June 17, 2013 at 9:25 PM

workingclass artist on June 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Thanks for posting this as it gives the perspective of what Cruz said, rather than the video sound bite.

Senator Cruz is fine and these snarky comments on this thread about him are without cause or basis and are just knee jerk opinions.

bluefox on June 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Thanks for posting this as it gives the perspective of what Cruz said, rather than the video sound bite.

Senator Cruz is fine and these snarky comments on this thread about him are without cause or basis and are just knee jerk opinions.

bluefox on June 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM

He’s the only one I trust – not that I don’t like other Senators like Grassley, Sessions, Lee, and some others…

Anti-Control on June 18, 2013 at 2:19 AM

I’d still vote Cruz for President. I’m a reverse racist I guess.

racquetballer on June 18, 2013 at 7:57 AM