- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2014

Former Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, accused politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein of hypocrisy Monday, saying she only began caring about privacy issues once she recently accused the CIA of snooping on Senate Intelligence Committee staff computers.

“There is an attitude in Washington that the laws Congress passes do not apply to Members,” senate-is-so-bad,-why-is-it-ok-for-them-to-spy-on-us.aspx” target=”_blank”>Mr. Paul wrote in his weekly column. “They can trample our civil liberties, they believe, but it should never affect their own freedom.”

Mrs. Feinstein, California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made the stunning accusation earlier this month on the Senate floor that the CIA snooped through congressional documents related to the country’s detention and interrogation techniques.

CIA Director John O. Brennan has denied the snooping and the CIA has filed an official complaint with the Justice Department accusing Senate staffers of having stolen the key CIA document in the first place.

But Mr. Paul said much of the problem started when politicians passed the Patriot Act in the early 2000s and politicians failed to do anything when they found out about the breach of civil liberties.

“Washington does not care about our privacy,” he wrote. “When serious violations are discovered they most often rush to protect the status quo instead of defending the Constitution.”

Mr. Paul argued that the problem is that the U.S. is being managed as an empire rather than a republic, where “lying to the rest of us is permissible.”

“They spy on everybody because they don’t trust anybody,” he wrote. “The answer is obvious: Rein in the CIA; remove its authority to conduct these kinds of covert actions. Rein in government. Lawmakers should not defend Fourth Amendment rights only when their staffs have been violated. They should do it all the time for all of us.”

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