Barack Obama

Rand Paul Attacks Obama on NSA Spying: "Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon"


Credit: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is speaking to students and faculty today at the University of California at Berkeley, famously known as one of the most left-wing campuses in the country. And as Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times reports, Paul hopes to use that liberal climate to his advantage, effectively attacking President Obama from what we might call the libertarian-left over the issue of NSA spying on American citizens. Peters writes:

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, says President Obama should be particularly wary of domestic spying, given the government's history of eavesdropping on civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The first African-American president ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying," Mr. Paul said, previewing remarks he planned to deliver to a group of students and faculty members Wednesday afternoon at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon, antiwar protesters were spied upon," he said. "The possibility for abuse in this is incredible. So I don't care if there's never been any evidence of abuse with the N.S.A., they should not be collecting the data."

Read the rest here.

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  1. Rand Paul was spied upon…

  2. But in Rand Paul’s America blacks won’t be allowed to sit at the counter. So, the NSA spying is here to stay as we’re voting for Hilary.


    1. Ready for Hilary! Ready for war!

    2. I posted it before I checked the comments to the NYT article. This is exactly what they wrote.

      1. marklaporta
        New York, NY 13 minutes ago
        When will Rand Paul and his ilk finally realize their utter irrelevance to History? Here he is going all Glenn Beck on a global stage, actually lecturing an African American on the evils of white racism.

        But aside from the insult to human intelligence his statements deliver, the Senator’s remarks are as nothing. As recent world events show, we are either on a path to a true global society or on the cusp of re-emergent medievalism. Either way, Rand Paul’s petticoat ruffling will have no impact on the problems we face or the solutions we find. “,?I

        1. actually lecturing an African American

          Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say he’s an African-Scotch-Irish-American? It’s also better because it has more hyphens.

      2. Michael Fremer
        New Joisey 13 minutes ago
        Hmm. Rand Paul playing the race card.

        NYC 13 minutes ago
        Where was Rand Paul when the Patriot Act was passed? Oh, that’s right, a Republican was president.

        florida 13 minutes ago
        Mr. Pauls’ behavior crossed the insane line long ago. If people are dumb enough to vote for him, they deserve his insanity. Shame on him for claiming to be an American. Shame on him for even using the terms :first African-American President. He always manages to show his racial bias and that is what most of the republicans are – and how they have behaved – spot on racist.

        PS: I am white and proud that white American citizens voted for Obama.

        1. Ugh, I know Michael Fremer. He is a disgusting slug of a human. Why does his comment not surprise me?

        2. Where was Rand Paul when the Patriot Act was passed?

          This kind of shit. If you criticize the government under Obama, they always assume that you’re a Bush-supporting neocon. It’s just moronic. The response to it is obviously, “I was against it then and and I am still against it now. Where are YOU on this issue?”

          1. The answer to the dipshit’s question is =

            “Practicing Ophthalmology?”

            He wasn’t even a candidate for public office for another 7 years or so after the Patriot Act was passed.

            1. Did he at least bitch to his friends about it? Huh?

      3. Jackie Rawlings
        california 26 minutes ago
        Wow Paul really does think blacks are stupid as he is. Rand Paul ran for the Senate promising to bring back segregation and discrimination. His Dad advised him not to say that before his election. Paul won and quickly for his KKK campaign team for the run for President. Making a fool of himself at a Latino/Howard U. as people laughed. Now he is talking spying J Edger Hoover did on Dr. King before Obama was born. Everyone knows Paul is a racist and these fake speeches wont work. Time to call Daddy Paul for advice

        New York City 29 minutes ago
        Rand Paul’s comments are an insult to intelligence and history. They are astonishingly hypocritical and condescending. I say this as a black male who lived through those times. He has chosen his words so very carefully and targeted them so narrowly, and hopes that nobody will know the difference. His manipulative words even imply, incredibly, that he is concerned about civil rights and racism. And amazingly he thinks that he needs to remind everyone that we have a black president.

        His remarks are not really about spying at all, especially given the history of who was spying on who during those years. His goal is really just to level another cynical attack on this administration.

        Some may believe my comments are just anti-Republican, but I would say exactly the same of any Democrat who said what Rand has said. I would find them offensive as well

          1. Oh, dear. You missed your enema again today, init?

        1. I hate you so, so much right now.

        2. NYTs comments are worse than youtube’s and slightly better than HuffPo


            1. Ghey fag

              1. My point exactly. Thank you.

      4. Chuck
        Michigan 29 minutes ago
        Sigh. Yet another attempt at political theater in an effort to make Rand Paul seem principled at Obama’s expense. Yet, if we revisit the ’60s, it was the states’ rights bozos a la our pseudo-libertarian friend here that stood in the way of civil rights progress and allowed cointel like operations to continue unabated. I love the Cons recent efforts to turn the world upside down by pretending everyone else is hypocritical. And, then there’s the cheap trick of tying Barack Obama to civil rights nostalgia just because he’s African American rather than acknowledging Obama’s evident attempt to be a good president for all people

        Brooklyn 2 hours ago
        Like everything Rand Paul does, this is pointless political theater. He has still refused to reach across the aisle and work with the likes of Senator Sanders. And now a speech meant to inflame instead of one that could use more recent historical precedents, such as the DEA’s sweeping search and seizure powers (even in the digital domain) and the previous administration’s robust expansion of the NSA’s authority.

        Rand Paul is a very unserious person for a very serious time.

      5. jerry
        ct. 2 hours ago
        Is all fair in love and war? Senator Paul is not a truth lover and is part of today’s Washington which has made politics the non-killing dimension of war.

        Were Obama to have taken arguments for the nation based on
        the black experience, {Paul and his nihilists would be howling like banshees.

        Government authority has made it possible for anyone to express their opinions no matter how selfserving or loony.

        Thank the power of government that allows you to say what you wish no matter how outrageous or faulty

        Jon Webb
        Pittsburgh, PA 2 hours ago
        No no no no no… you can’t do this. African-Americans could criticize Mr. Obama for spying, after what happened to MLK and others in the 60s (and quite possibly should) — but a white guy from Kentucky cannot. Doing so shows an absurd lack of understanding of group dynamics.

      6. Dan Stackhouse
        NYC 3 hours ago
        Sorry but this sounds inherently racist to me. Granted that the spying is an infringement on civil rights, but why make the case that because it was done to black people in America, President Obama should be particularly concerned about it? At the same time Dr. King was being spied on, so were tons of other American citizens, of all sorts of ethnicities. There were spies keeping tabs on Robert Kennedy (then A.G.), the communist party, the press, the Hell’s Angels, the KKK, you name it, the FBI spied on it.

        So I’m not impressed by Paul’s pandering, and there’s nothing to indicate the current spying is particularly based on ethnicity, it seems to be globally applied.

        Also he seems to have forgotten that the man who initiated spying on Dr. King was J.E. Hoover, a devout Republican.

        Louisville, KY 2 hours ago
        What Rand Paul offers is not fresh air but stale rhetoric cleverly designed to dupe low information voters. Like his father, he poses as a libertarian while supporting government intrusion in and denial of the reproductive rights of women. He is unqualified and unfit to serve in his current position in the US Senate. He would be an absolute disaster in the W.H.

        1. I just want to add, these comments here?

          All in a row, more or less. unbroken stream of grade A+ DERP. I didn’t have to pick and choose at all… although I did skip some that were Derping redundantly.

          1. Depressing as all of that is, I just imagine what kind of comments they’ll be writing on the day that the Times announces that Paul has won the presidency, and suddenly I’m all smiles.

          2. Sooo much concentrated stupid… and it doesn’t wash off!

            1. I’m starting to think the facepalm is permanent.

  3. Collecting the data IS abuse in the first place. The NSA is committing billions of counts of illegal wiretapping, every goddamned day.

    They can’t be “reformed”, this will only end when they are disbanded and every last one of them is barred from ever holding any taxpayer-funded employment again.


    1. Agree, Jcr. The monster Bush created and Obama has let live is shameful.

      1. The monster Obama has let live?

        You mean the monster Obama has nurtured and molded in his own image.

      2. So, I know you’re a troll, but I really have to ask. I mean, even an idiot would have realized by now that nobody here defends Bush over anything, especially NSA spying, right? So… how long is it going to take you to realize that? Will you ever?

        1. Your first mistake is thinking it believes anything whatsoever. It is just here to disrupt and annoy.

          An editor once said they only keep him around because “there has to be a bottom to every barrel.”

        2. That’s because Buttplug is a special kind of idiot: a Dunce. An idiot who is incapable of learning.

          1. BUSH DID IT FOIRST

        3. I wonder if it will switch to the next Republican who takes office, or if it will keep thinking we’re Bush fans forever.

  4. effectively attacking President Obama from what we might call the libertarian-left over the issue of NSA spying on American citizens

    Yeah, the libertarian-center doesn’t give a whiff about NSA spying and the libertarian-right wants to mandate 1984 telescreens in every home.

  5. Oh man, I love how much Paul pisses off the lefties when he calls them out on their hypocrisy, which he does constantly.

    I can’t wait to see their reaction when he starts winning primaries.

    1. winning primaries

      I LOLd.

    2. “I can’t wait to see their reaction when he starts winning primaries.”

      I can’t wait either. I love how he pisses off the lefties and the Free Republic types. It’s all good.

  6. Well played playa. Rinse and repeat!

  7. What about Smith v. Maryland? Does that not count for something?

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