Ron Paul gives thanks for leaker
June 10th, 2013
04:20 PM ET
2 years ago

Ron Paul gives thanks for leaker

(CNN) – Former Republican Rep. Ron Paul praised former intelligence worker Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald for exposing details of U.S. surveillance programs, saying Americans should be "thankful" for their efforts in speaking out, "despite the risk."

"They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret," Paul said Monday in a statement.

Paul made his comment on the website for Campaign for Liberty, a political organization founded by the former congressman and three-time presidential candidate from Texas.

"The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing," he also said.

Snowden's decision to come forward this weekend has sparked an intense debate over whether the 29-year-old contractor is a hero or a criminal. While the Justice Department said Sunday night that it had begun a preliminary investigation, others have heralded Snowden's cause. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, for example, is raising money for his legal defense.

Greenwald, who works for The Guardian, published multiple articles last week on the government's monitoring of phone records and PRISM, a program that allows National Security Agency analysts to extract the details of people's online activities.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the programs have been reviewed by courts, Congress and the administration, and are legal.

Snowden also appears to be a fan of Paul, as well. Federal Election Commission records show an "Edward Snowden" donated $250 to Paul on two different occasions last year, when the former congressman was running for president.

In the first entry (March 18), Snowden lists Dell as his employer and Columbia, Maryland as his residence. The second entry (May 6), Snowden lists his residence as Hawaii. The information falls in line with details Snowden revealed about himself this weekend when The Guardian publicly identified him as the NSA leaker.

In his interview with the news outlet, Snowden talked about his political leanings and suggested he voted for Paul as a presidential candidate five years ago.

"A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama's promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor," he said.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul and another staunch defender of civil liberties, has also been aggressive in condemning the government programs. The Kentucky lawmaker said Sunday he's looking into suing the federal government.

"I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I'm going to be asking the internet providers and all of the phone companies; ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit," Paul said on FOX News Sunday.

- CNN's Ashley Killough, Kevin Liptak and Greg Clary contributed to this report.


Filed under: NSA • Rand Paul • Ron Paul
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    It was all good with the right wing during the Bush administration because Bush "kept us safe" from terrorists.

    June 10, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    "I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I'm going to be asking the internet providers and all of the phone companies; ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit," Paul said on FOX News Sunday."

    Oh, for the love of God. When you think Rand Paul can't get any lower ... he comes out swinging before he even knows what to, well ... hit.

    And he thinks he wants to be our next President of the United States? Not going to happen. Especially not after Snowden gets done "talking".

    Snowden is a United States traitor. Nothing more, nothing less.

    June 10, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    This surveillance is for the protection of American people–nothing wrong, ok, do not be an idiot.

    June 10, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    Ah, which side to take? Progressive groups and Ron Paul support Snowden; the political parties support the Patriot Act.

    I come down on the side of dismantling the Patriot Act while deploring Snowden's self-serving actions. Call it doublethink if you must, but I'm comfortable with it.

    June 10, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    How is Mr. Snowden any different than PFC Manning??

    June 10, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. jinx9to88

    I dont see a whole lot of GOP defending this leak. My guess is since the GOP started the "Patriot Act" they really dont have ground to stand on and blame Obama. Sounds like the GOP is fighting with each other again.

    June 10, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. California Gary

    And that, Mr. Paul, is why neither you nor your son will ever be POTUS.

    June 10, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Laverne

    Yeah and just as soon as we are attacked again everyone will be complaining Obama did not do enough to keep us safe, you can't have it both ways people. Ron Paul, bless his heart is still trying to live like it was 30 years ago. Those days are gone Sir!

    June 10, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Bill

    Ron who? What a clown.

    June 10, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. wmontanye

    Isn't what he did called treason?? And Ron Paul is ok with this??

    June 10, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Anthony in California

    If the U.S. is attacked again by terrorists because of sensitive information Im sure we'll all complain that Obama didnt do enough to protect us...
    If you arent doing anything wrong, why are you so sensitive about what youre saying or doing. I dont fear big brother like i dont fear cameras at traffic lights...

    June 10, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. plain&simple

    It's a fine line we walk this day and age...information swirling around everywhere. Do I think our government cares if I drink to much or smoke "illegal" substances? No I don't. If I'm blabbing online about hharming people or overthrowing or government or some other such atrocity,then I'm an idiot!!! When someone blows a whistle on a policy or program,it's a time for reviews and debates. Our system allows for a free press and that's key to our foundation of governing. It's worked for longer than any otherfree ssystem and will continue to do so. It just needs to play out !

    June 10, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    For a second there, I thought this headline was a public call to buy him some Depends ...

    June 10, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Steveo

    @Sniffit
    "Exactly what do you think would happen if we found out the president got drunk?"

    The GOP/Teatrolls would throw an inconsolable hissy fit and everyone else would roll their eyes. You have any idea how much alcohol some of the most famous and best POTUSes used to consume?
    --------
    EXACTLY that is why we don't need to have this info made public.

    June 10, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    @Anthony "we'll all complain that Obama didnt do enough to protect us..."

    One of Obama's big campaigning points was with a friendly face in the Whitehouse instead of a cowboy, the world would just naturally love us and the threat would be lower. He was wrong about that. Now part of the Obama "Change" is to further the Bush security policies. Yes I will complain.

    I complained when W lied about the WMD in Iraq. No President should not be lying to us or guessing about stuff like that.

    June 10, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This gop teaparty goof should run for dog catcher or sewage plant worker and should be subject to a recall election. An embarrassment to the state of ky ,like bachmann is to the state of Minn. Gop loser and garbage of America !!!!!

    June 10, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Like Father , Like son !

    @Anthony in California
    If the U.S. is attacked again by terrorists because of sensitive information Im sure we'll all complain that Obama didnt do enough to protect us...
    If you arent doing anything wrong, why are you so sensitive about what youre saying or doing. I dont fear big brother like i dont fear cameras at traffic lights...
    =====

    Thank you !

    June 10, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This gop teaparty loser should move to China with his loser son bland and the other traitor and join the jahadest . And strap on a vest and take it home, bum.

    June 10, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Pete

    I wonder if Paul,son are fans of the Assange club that leaked secrets and ran to Iceland as well..Hell of a way to spend the rest of your life looking back over your shoulder making sure nobodies out there to get yah..Snowden will work independently until he's either caught or get bumped off..He's crossed lines and is a traitor to America and traitors aren't allowed to live too long no matter where they hide out...

    June 10, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. joe

    Right now its ok to have red light cameras, phone surviellance, internet surviellance? But what about in 10 years when drones can look inside your home? Are you still ok with that? We need limits. How much invasion of privacy is ok and how much isnt? America needs to make a choice

    June 10, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. wade

    He did good a thing for America by exposing the hypocrite Obama but Obama will have him killed! Of course no finger prints it will be an accident.

    June 10, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. 2012liberal

    I will give thanks when kentucky gets rid of this man and takes mcconnel w him!

    June 10, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. james

    I never have trusted crooked Obama and never will just another crooked Chicago politican .

    June 10, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. 2012liberal

    My bad thought it was rand paul w diarrhea of the mouth again. @sniffit and steve obama does hv a brewery n the basement LOL

    June 10, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Steveo

    @ST
    @ Steveo
    I do think you are selfish. You want yourself to drink until you can't move anymore BUT not anyone else to take a day quite different from other days and enjoy with a sounding reason. These elected officials are human being like you or any other. Electing them, doesn't mean you make them act as you wish every minute and every second.
    -------------------------
    1. There is a difference between drinking and getting DRUNK. I am saying that does not need to be made PUBLIC!
    2. How do you deduct my wanting to "drink until I cannot move" when I DON'T EVEN DRINK ALCOHOL. I AM NOT denying Patrick anything. Why does it need to be made public?
    3. How do you go from what I wrote to me drinking when I don't? Yet You think I am selfish? How about just read what I write without adding to it!
    4. We expect so little from public officials and wonder why we get so little!

    June 10, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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