2016 Hopeful Jeb Bush Backs Big Brother: Gov’t Surveillance “Keeps Us Safe” / Sputnik International



The former Florida governor was laying out the framework for his foreign policy strategy — a major step in building a presidential campaign — when he expressed disbelief at the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the NSA spying programs.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand – the debate has gotten off track, where we’re not understanding and protecting,” he told the crowd of 800 or so at the Chicago Council for Global Affairs.

The position places him squarely on the path forged by his brother, George W. Bush — under whom most of these surveillance programs were created — despite Jeb’s protestations during the same speech that “I am my own man,” in regards to his brother’s possible influence on his politics.

Bush only briefly mentioned — and rather quickly dismissed — the widespread outrage expressed on both sides of the aisle over the potential violations of civil liberties engendered by the government’s surveillance programs.

“We do protect our civil liberties,” he told the audience, “but this is a hugely important program to keep us safe.”

A Unique Position in 2016 Field

The position puts Bush in stark contrast to other presidential hopefuls, including those in his own party. In January 2014 the Republican National Committee itself passed a resolution “to immediately take action to halt current unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s data collection programs.”

The resolution came under fire from Bush-era intelligence officials, and other GOP contenders have also defended the spying program.

“Everybody spies on everybody, I mean, that’s just a fact,” was Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida’s response to the NSA programs in a 2013 CNN interview.

And Gov. Chris Christie called criticism of the programs a “a very dangerous thought,” in a talk at the Aspen Institute, specifically citing the libertarian elements in the GOP.

On that libertarian end of the spectrum, and in stark contrast to Jeb Bush then, is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has been outspoken in his denunciations of the programs as unconstitutional, going so far as to sue the federal government over it.

“I am here to tell you, though, that your rights, especially your right to privacy is under assault,” Paul told a group of student at the University of California, Berkeley in March 2014. “I’m here to tell you that if you own a cell phone, you’re under surveillance. I’m here to tell you that the NSA believes that equal protection means that Americans should be spied upon equally, including Congress. I believe what you do on a cell phone is none of their damn business.”

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton has largely avoided taking a strong stance on the controversial issue, instead talking about the difficult “trade-off between liberty and security.”  She denounced the leaks of Edward Snowden — the NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower who gave classified information about the programs to the press — as “outrageous behavior.” But she has also conceded that the government “might have gone too far in a number of areas,” and has approved of congressional efforts to reform the NSA.

PATRIOT Act Provisions Set to Expire

Those efforts have largely stalled, as key provisions of the USA Patriot act are set to expire in June. Section 215, for example, is the basis of the NSA’s bulk phone record collection program.

The USA Freedom Act, a surveillance reform bill aimed at curbing intelligence collection abuses, failed to pass the Senate in September. The bill was defeated mostly by Republicans warning that the US would be left vulnerable to attack if the changes were implemented.

Meanwhile, though the government has announced reforms to NSA procedures, the efficacy of those guidelines in preventing overreach and violations of privacy has been questioned. The government’s own privacy board released a report in January chiding the Obama administration for poor progress in implementing reforms.

The board noted that despite some progress most of its reform recommendations “are still in the process of being implemented, however, or have only been accepted in principle, without substantial progress yet made toward their implementation.”

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One Response to 2016 Hopeful Jeb Bush Backs Big Brother: Gov’t Surveillance “Keeps Us Safe” / Sputnik International

  1. Ian MacLeod says:

    The formation of the DHS was one of the biggest power grabs in our history, and that’s ALL IT WAS. What it did was give the CORPORATIONS of Washington D.C. the go-ahead to ignore the Constitution, to ignore the RIGHTS of Americans and SNOOP wherever they felt like snooping. They can and DO use statements and comments in support of the Constitution, and statements that point out the total illegality of what looks more and more like a fascist takeover of America as “treason.” It’s apparently now TREASON to point out the breaking of laws, the spitting on the Constitution by power-hungry politicians, by agencies that spy on anyone for any reason or no reason, and to point out how ORDERS are given to those agencies and Congress and anyone else in “government” by the so-called “elites” who run them all – into the ground. It’s TREASON to point out how America and Americans are being deliberately poisoned, how the economy has been deliberately destroyed and food supplies have been rendered toxic – what there is left of them. The DHS makes up “law” as it goes, just like too many police do these days. They’re all carefully making SURE that when the “elites” decide it’s time for a total collapse of this country, very few will have enough of anything to survive, and those who DID have the foresight to prepare will be called criminals and robbed of what they set aside. Basically it’s pretty much illegal to do much but lay down and die when we’re ordered to. They’ve been trying to mandate vaccines KNOWN to be toxic, and that’s something else we’ll have to contend with, as those vaccines seem to be getting more deadly with time, and those who make and sell them are immune to prosecution. Fake studies say they’re good for us; we don’t get to see any REAL studies unless someone like Snowden steals them and SHOWS US.

    This “government of, by and for the People” is now a government of by and for the corporations and those who own them – and own US as far they’re concerned. Our “rights” to petition our government for redress, to protest the way we’re ignored and lied to and robbed blind… in fact ALL of our so-called “rights” are ignored, especially when they get in the way of the super-rich and the agencies like the DHS that are following the orders of those super-rich. We’re saturated with propaganda, radonuclides and chemical toxins, and we’re told that the goal is the deaths of 90% of us, since “we” have messed up the country so badly. That, however, wasn’t OUR error; our mistake was in believing in professional liars, murderers and thieves. THEY are the destroyers, and blaming us – just another lie – doesn’t alter the damage THEY HAVE DONE and ARE DOING. Now they just need to cobble together a big enough false-flag “emergency” to justify rounding us all up. They’ve kept the most powerful technology for themselves, and since they seem to resent us so much for DARING to think we actually have any rights at ALL, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them finish the place off, and us with it; or so they believe. Maybe they’re right.

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