Here we are, a full day since the news that the CIA has been conducting illegal spy operations against the United States Senate. In reaction to the revelations yesterday, our writer J. Clifford speculated that the issue could enter the 2016 presidential election, with libertarian Republican Rand Paul and independent Bernard Sanders taking special interest as presidential candidates who are also U.S. senators.
So, now that the two senators have had over 24 hours to respond to the scandal, how do they compare?
Bernard Sanders made the issue his most prominent statement today, with a message about the “CIA Cover Up In Torture Probe”. Sanders spoke in strong condemnation of the criminal surveillance against Congress by the CIA, writing, “A conflict between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee boiled over Tuesday when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel chairwoman and one of the CIA’s staunchest defenders, accused the CIA of withholding information about its use of torture in the interrogation of prisoners. She also accused the spy agency of trying to intimidate committee staff members investigating the interrogation program. To Sen. Bernie Sanders, the revelation was “another sign that our intelligence community is out of control and that there must be greater oversight by Congress,” the Rutland Herald and Times Argus reported. Earlier this year, in response to a question from Sanders, the National Security Agency did not expressly deny spying on Congress.”
Rand Paul, on the other hand, doesn’t really seem to care about big government abuses of the separation of powers and the fourth amendment to the Constitution. As seen on his U.S. Senate web site, Paul has not issued any formal statement on the issue. He’s been officially silent on the matter. The last statement of any kind that Rand Paul had to make was a commentary about different methods of interpreting the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan, who was President three decades ago.
Way to keep up to date with the issues, Rand Paul. Bernard Sanders wins on this issue, hands down.