WALLACE: How are they then unconstitutional?
PAUL: Well, you know, they’re looking at a billion phone calls a day is what I read in the press and that doesn’t sound to me like a modest invasion of privacy. It sounds like an extraordinary invasion of privacy. The Fourth Amendment says you can look at and ask for a warrant specific to a person, place and the items. This is a general warrant. This is what we objected to and what our Founding Fathers partly fought the revolution over is they did not want generalized warrants where you could go from house to house with soldiers looking for things or now from computer to computer, to phone to phone, without specifying who you’re targeting.
We’re not talking about going after a terrorist. I’m all for that. Get a warrant and go after a terrorist, or a murderer or a rapist. But don’t troll through a billion phone records every day. That is unconstitutional, it invades our privacy and I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies, ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit. If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at then somebody will wake up and say things will change in Washington.
I want to go after terrorists as much as anyone. For example, we are looking through so much data that I think it makes our fight against terrorism worse. The Tsarnaev boy, one of the Boston marathon bombers, we didn’t know that he went back to Chechnya because we’re not doing enough targeted analysis. We have millions of phone calls and we can’t even possibly look at all the data. You know, we have millions of audiotape hours of people and we can’t go through it. They haven’t gone back through 25 percent of the audio they have. They’re overwhelmed in data. So, I think it’s just bad police work.
Why didn’t we know the Tsarnaev boy had gone back to Chechnya? Because we’re not doing good police work because we’re busy looking at the records of regular Americans who haven’t committed any crime.
WALLACE: All of this comes at a time when President Obama is involved in scandals or his administration is, the IRS targeting conservatives, the Department of Justice snooping on reporters. Do you see a pattern? Do you see a connection between the scandals and these government surveillance programs?
PAUL: Yes, because I think it really makes people distrust their government even more, when they’re seeing the IRS being used after political opponents. But this much power is too much power to give any government. I don’t care if it’s a Republican government or Democratic government, I don’t want that much power given to a president and I think it’s very worrisome. And I think if the young people in this country wake up and say, “Enough’s enough and we don’t want them looking at our phone records,” I think we could reverse this. When we went after the SOPA and PIPA legislation that we thought was going to invade the due process of the Internet, people by the millions came out. If we can have that again — people by the millions coming out and saying, “Look, I want to be part of a class action suit that says to the government, let’s hear this at the Supreme Court level. Are you allowed to look at phone records even though there’s no probable cause that I’m related to a crime?” — I think we’ll put an end to this.
During the same interview, Sen. Paul restated that the the talking points used by the Obama administration after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were a deliberate misdirection campaign:
“I still don’t think we’ve gotten to the bottom of why they had this elaborate misdirection campaign when obviously everybody thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. So, it really wasn’t designed to work unless, really, the misdirection campaign was to get us away from the fact that the CIA annex there was dealing in arms to Syria through Turkey, which was illegal at the time.”