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?