There should be a ‘death penalty’ for government agencies that betray the American people
Aug 19, 2013
Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich slammed the Obama administration late last week, saying that the NSA should be completely abolished, and that whistleblower Edward Snowden should be celebrated with a ticker-tape parade.
Kucinich, known for his strong stance on privacy and civil liberties, urged attendees at the premiere of a documentary on government and corporate abuse of digital data that it was unacceptable to allow the government to continue to destroy constitutional rights.
“We have the CIA, the FBI, a dozen other intelligence infrastructures. Frankly — and I’m saying this with a lifetime’s experience in government here — it’s time to punch the NSA’s ticket here.” Kucinich stated at the showing of the film Terms and Conditions May Apply.
“They’ve ruined the brand. They’ve destroyed the idea of privacy.” he added.
“We need some kind of symbolic and profound approach here, that says, ‘look, you’ve violated something that’s very dear to the American people — you don’t get to do that.’” Kucinich urged.
“We talk about the death penalty for individuals, which I oppose, but I think there needs to be for government agencies that so broadly betray the public interest,” Kucinich added.
“There needs to be a measure of responsibility. And if they go beyond the pale, which the NSA has, they just ought to be abolished. We don’t need the spying.” he asserted.
The former Ohio Congressman, who left office earlier this year, stated “In a just world, Snowden, we’d be having ticker tape parades for him. But that’s not what’s going to happen.”
Speaking about Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper lying to Congress about the NSA’s spying techniques, Kucinich stated:
“Well, you know it’s illegal to lie to Congress, but everyone lies to Congress. As soon as they raise their right hand, watch out! Clapper should be held responsible, but he won’t be, because that’s the condition we’re in right now.”
Fresh revelations of NSA abuses were met late Friday by with a response from the agency that the spy agency was “not trying to break the law.”
“These are not willful violations, they are not malicious,” John DeLong, NSA director of compliance, told reporters.
In a blatant attempt to diffuse the revelations, Senator Diane Feinstein, Chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence, echoed the comments, stating “The majority of these ‘compliance incidents’ are unintentional and do not involve any inappropriate surveillance of Americans.”
“As I have said previously, the committee has never identified an instance in which the NSA has intentionally abused its authority to conduct surveillance for inappropriate purposes.” Feinstein added.
Basically, as yet more proof of abuse of authority is unveiled (as if it was needed), the NSA and intelligence oversight officials have been reduced to arguing that the agency didn’t mean to spy on millions of Americans, so therefore it’s OK that it spied on millions of Americans, and its also OK that it is continuing to spy on millions of Americans.
Senator Rand Paul slammed the ludicrous response Sunday, saying that the NSA’s massive surveillance program is “fundamentally unconstitutional” and that it cannot be saved by more oversight.
“They basically are looking at, I believe, all of the cell phone calls in America every day.” Paul stated, adding “We need more people doing specific intelligence data on people who we have suspicion of rather than doing it on suspicion-less searches of all Americans’ phone calls.”