Jeb Bush—Republican candidate for president and member of the Gutless On Principles (GOP) Hall of Shame—feels that recent efforts to restrict the power of the National Security Agency to spy on the American people should cease and desist. Not only that, he told a group of attendees at a national security forum in South Carolina that the agency needs more power, not less.
He also called on Congress to revisit the changes recently made to the Patriot Act created under his brother, while dismissing concerns by liberty-loving Americans that the NSA violated citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights:
“There’s a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing it’s job. I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way.”
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent bipartisan agency, declared the phone records collections program illegal in 2014, and a federal court of appeals reached the same conclusion earlier this year. Congress voted in June, 2015 to end the bulk collection of American phone records under the Patriot Act.
But wait! There’s more!
Do you remember when George W. Bush said he was willing to “abandon free market principles in order to save the free market system?” It looks like W’s little brother has a similar take when it comes to his efforts to save the government’s ability to spy on us at will.
Jeb expressed his concerns with private technology firms who use encryption to make it harder for their customers to be spied on:
“It makes it harder for the American government to do its job while protecting civil liberties to make sure evildoers aren’t in our midst.”
And while noting that companies like Google are getting pressure from their customers to keep such technology, Jeb essentially stated that he’s willing to abandon free market principles to save warrantless spying:
“Market share … should not be the be-all-end-all” when it comes to supplying encryption security, and he called for “a new arrangement with Silicon Vally in this regard.”
So, could there be a reason other than a total disregard of our constitutional rights for Jeb to call for more NSA spying? It was just yesterday that I wrote about the recent revelation that AT&T was a major partner with the NSA, receiving a disproportionate amount of the NSA budget for their unconstitutional spying program. I’m sure it just an amazing bit of coincidence, but there appears to be a Jeb Bush/AT&T connection.
During his reelection for governor of Florida in 2002, Jeb vetoed a bill backed by Southern Strategy, a lobbying group, and one of its major clients, none other than AT&T. The bill would have allowed AT&T to significantly raise prices on local calls. Following his successful run, however, a similar bill landed on Bush’s desk that would give AT&T what they were looking for. Jeb signed it into law claiming that it was necessary to increase competition.
At the end of his second term in 2006, he found a way to help out the telecommunications colossus on his way out the door; when a Bush appointee to the Florida Public Service Commission approved the controversial merger between AT&T and Bell South over the objections of consumer groups across the nation.
Could Jeb Bush be involved in a shady relationship with AT&T? I’ll let you be the judge. But the fact that he is willing to line their pockets with millions of taxpayer dollars while destroying our constitutional rights is reprehensible.
Jeb Bush—and Chris Christie for that matter—love the warrantless, unconstitutional spying programs of the NSA. For this reason alone, they are unqualified to be president.
David Leach is the owner and publisher of The Strident Conservative where he is proudly politically-incorrect and always “right.” He is also a frequent contributor at RedState.com.
His political commentaries can be heard daily on KLZ560 AM and other Crawford Broadcasting stations.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org