Rubio Vows to Continue Bush/Obama National Security State

Marco Rubio is staking out some truly frightening territory in his zeal to become president, wanting to sharply increase military spending and make permanent the most intrusive and clearly unconstitutional portions of the Patriot Act as well.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, Rubio laid out what he dubbed “The Rubio Doctrine”: a plan that includes massively increasing military spending, reversing the new diplomatic breakthroughs with Cuba, and permanently extending the controversial domestic surveillance provisions in the 2001 Patriot Act.

“A strong military also means a strong intelligence community, equipped with all it needs to defend the homeland from extremism — both homegrown and foreign-trained,” he said. “Key to this will be permanently extending Section 215 of the Patriot Act. We cannot let politics cloud the importance of this issue. We must never find ourselves looking back after a terrorist attack and saying we could have done more to save American lives.”…

Rubio not only opposes efforts to reform and curtail domestic surveillance, he has called for making the controversial programs permanent.

He argued that “there is not a single documented case of abuse of this program.” But leaked government documents have shown otherwise. Not only did federal audits find that US intelligence agencies have broken their privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times since the program’s inception, some of these times have included willful abuse, such as agents spying on their spouses or ex-girlfriends. Additionally, investigations have found that the agencies massively overstated the programs’ value in thwarting terrorist attacks.

One has to wonder what dream world he’s living in to claim that there are no cases of abuse of Section 215. That is the section of the law used to legally justify the wholesale collection of cell phone metadata, which an appeals court just ruled it does not authorize. Wholesale data mining on all Americans is abuse by definition and is a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment’s requirement that warrants be required and that the specific person, place or thing being searched for be explicitly denominated.

As for ramping up military spending, isn’t nearly half of all the world’s spending on the military enough? Will we be more secure if it was 52% instead of 47%? If we spent as much as the next 18 countries combined rather than the next 14?

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  • colnago80

    Does the good senator explain where he is going to get the dough to pay for the increased military spending? Will the lamestream media bother to ask him? Interested parties want to know.

  • sh3baproject

    It will never be enough! Not even if we spend 85% of the budget on defence! 😛

  • Chiroptera

    In regards to evangelical Christians, you’d think people obsessively worried about being sent to “FEMA camps” would focus their attention on things like this rather than on the issue of whether owners of public accommodations should do their jobs.

  • roggg

    @1: Easy… cut taxes.

  • Raging Bee

    Actually, the increase in military spending is the ONLY sensible part of Rubio’s platform. Your failure to distinguish that bit from the rest of his utter nonsense kinda puts a dent in your credibility. One of the reasons our latest Crusade — oops, I mean the War on Terror — was such a miserable failure, was that the Republican warmongers tried to do it on the cheap. And one of the many reasons our current military posture is such crap, is that the same Republican warmongers — and Republican and libertarian isolationists — don’t want to spend a dime rebuilding our strength anywhere for any objective.

    I don’t see Rubio saying he’d raise any taxes to pay for his “doctrine” — which would make the only sensible part of his agenda the only utterly meaningless part.

    And here’s an interesting bit:

    “Internet search providers, Internet-based email accounts, credit card companies and membership discount cards used at the grocery store all collect far more personal information on Americans.”

    Yet another instance where both Republicans and libertarians think it’s perfectly okay for (unelected) private entities to violate everyone’s right to privacy. It’s only a problem when our elected government does it. Which makes the libertarian criticism of the NSA look hollow and hypocritical.

  • gshelley

    Maybe he means no individual or organisation has been able to demonstrate the government abused the law against them – that would be a “single documented case”

    I don;t know if there is, but I recall that the government generally tries to get such cases dismissed because if there is any evidence they have been abusing the system, it is secret.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #5

    The reason that increased military spending might be required is that we have appointed ourselves the world’s policeman. Maybe it’s time to get out of the policeman business.

  • Mr Ed

    One school of thought is that Reagan’s increase in military spending won the cold war by bankrupting the USSR. I glad to see someone is applying this strategy to other things. If we buy enough tanks and submarines we can finally win the war on drugs. I bet if we develop a new super bomber and fighter we can win the war on poverty.

    As to the collection of data the NSA itself identified 3,000 abuses in a one year period. People checking out romantic interests or keeping tabs on ex’s. Just like every other power ceded to the government to fight crime or make us safer the fallible people in the loop will use it as often as possible for what ever possible.

  • Silent Service

    The thing to remember about Rubio and his kind is that they will not be happy until US military expendatures are equal to 100% of all the world’s military spending. There is only one way for that to happen.

  • Modusoperandi

    Thank goodness. The GOP has pretended to be isolationist for too long! Coincidentally, just long enough to be against all of Obama’s interventions. Remarkably, sometimes they were both against them and for them being bigger.

  • Raging Bee

    Maybe it’s time to get out of the policeman business.

    Okay, we can stop propping up Israel. They’re only drifting toward backward bigoted theocracy anyway, and not doing us any good in the process, so fuck ’em.

  • Who Cares

    @Raging Bee(#5):

    There are a few other reasons that the current budget doesn’t have room to restore combat capability & readiness.

    Reason 1) Pork Barrel Politics.

    It is so bad that even the military said they do not need more new toys. For example the army has been saying since 2012 that it doesn’t need new tanks, to suspend procurement of them. Every NDAA from 2012 on has had new tanks added to the bill and every time the pentagon tried to remove them congress put them back on. And that is just 1 item, you can find billions of dollars more like that in the NDAA.

    Another one is the number of bases in the the U.S.. The last study exploring what is needed came to the conclusion that billions could be saved by closing unneeded bases. That study has been pointedly ignored by congress since it would mean the loss of a military base in someones district.

    To keep all those excess bases open you need something there to justify the need for it’s existence. This has been done by deliberately under-manning/staffing the units that are stationed there. Consolidating those units into full strength units would again save billions. Note that the pentagon wouldn’t be to happy about this one either since it would reduce the number of brass needed.

    Placing items that have nothing to do with the DoD in the NDAA since it is a must pass bill.

    Reason 2) Outright corruption.

    Pardon me. I should say lobbying. For example the F-35, the plane won’t ever be combat capable in it’s current shape, at least not if the original specs were observed, so to keep the money flowing the companies manufacturing it have convince congress to lower what the plane should be capable of (note original specs were by these companies). Aside from the usual porkbarrelling the makers of the plane have been bribing congress to keep the money flowing instead of putting the kibosh on the whole project. This one is worth trillions over a decade or two. And there are other programs like this.

    Another one is how the procurement of replacement weapons is being handled in congress. It is becoming so expensive due to kickbacks, preferred nation status, single sourcing, no competitive bidding, etc., etc. that just replacing a gun with the same one can cost several times more then the original one (not inflation adjusted but even then the price would be out of whack).

    Reason 3) There is a slush fund.

    The Overseas Contingency Operations budget is not capped. This year congress put $38 billion into that one over the $58 billion that all the wars (the official and unofficial ones) would require.

    And these are some of the reasons that there is no money for combat readiness rebuilding or replacing weapons.

  • colnago80

    Re Who Cares @ #12

    Who Cares, along with Marcus Ranum really get’s their jollies bad mouthing the F35. Apparently not every military agrees. For instance, the IAF seems to be all gung ho about the system.

  • Raging Bee

    Another one is the number of bases in the the U.S.. The last study exploring what is needed came to the conclusion that billions could be saved by closing unneeded bases. That study has been pointedly ignored by congress since it would mean the loss of a military base in someones district.

    Yeah, and “the loss of a military base in someone’s district” means the loss of JOBS. Which is all the more reason to keep those bases open: what else is the US government doing these days to create jobs, inject money into the economy in a way that makes it accessible to the poor, and drive more scientific and technological advancement? If we’re not going to get a tax-and-spend “welfare state” to do any of those things any time soon, the military is, and almost always has been, the next best option.

  • Raging Bee

    For example the F-35, the plane won’t ever be combat capable in it’s current shape…

    Don’t we say that about every new gadget the military develops? NOTHING is combat-capable in its “current” shape until we’ve figured out a way to make it capable. The Wright Brothers’ original airplane didn’t look all that combat-capable at first either.

  • Who Cares

    Raging Bee(#15):

    Then let me rephrase it. it will never be combat capable as to the original specs. No chance. And that has to do with the simple fact that they are trying to make a fuselage meant for a subsonic VTOL capable plane (the model B for the marines) and also let it fly at a transonic cruising speed (model A for the USAF and model C for the Navy). Add to that that there is no room in the weight budget to fix the other problems with the plane. Then there is the problem of the cockpit being designed by committee (just like the rest of the plane) so that a pilot cannot effectively look backwards mooting the ability of the helmet to ‘look’ through the plane, this has been acknowledged by the DoD as the plane that has the least out of plane visibility of any USAF plane in use or production, test pilots state it simpler: “This is what will get me killed in every dogfight”.

    There are fixable things to the plane but those fixes will be years late forcing the rebuild of the planes currently being produced at the cost of billions and won’t help the fundamental problems underlying this flying turkey that prevent it from ever being combat capable even the with the relaxation of the specifications now being underway, specifications Lockheed gave when they first pitched the design of the F-35 to the DoD.

    @Raging Bee(#14):

    Then don’t complain about there not being money for readiness improvement.

    Aside from that the money goes to a select few companies like Haliburton at no bid cost+ contracts which creates incentives for wasting money instead of using it for the vaunted JOBS!.

    And that money could be used more effectively, while still creating jobs just not for base maintenance, by using it for readiness improvement.


    The plane does not (yet) have the capacities that the IAF is raving about, heck the first thing that shows that you linked to a puff piece is the capability against the S300, the current US test pilots state that the relaxation of the initial sustained G performance to the new lower maximum (below what any other 4th & 5th generation plane is capable of) would significantly impact the survivability when fired upon by any double digit SAM (the S-300 being classified as the S-20 by NATO).

    I don’t know how the IAF can be that enthusiastic as the latest block are only limited to maneuvers between -1G and 5G, fly at a max of mach 0.9, aren’t allowed to use weapons, counter measures, electronic warfare, limited to an angle of attack between -5° and +18° (F-16 does 26°), not allowed to fly at night or fly in weather or fly within 25 miles of lightning, not allowed to use (secure) communications, not allowed to descend/climb at more then 6000’/minute (F16 does 50000’/minute), not allowed to make rapid stick/rudder maneuvers, not allowed to perform in air refueling, not allowed to use the targeting system, use the IFF system, not allowed to use the radar for target acquisition.

    Oh and those are the planes the USAF and marines certified as passing minimal combat capability so they can use them to train.

  • colnago80

    Re Who Cares @ #16

    These limitations certainly appear quite serious. Are they, however, mechanical limitations on the performance of the aircraft or are they being imposed for other reasons, e.g. safety because the planes are still in the testing stage?