Larry Klayman
What Rubio and the Castros have in common
By Larry Klayman
December 21, 2015

A great divide has emerged, each side being argued by two Cuban-American presidential candidates and rivals: Sen. Marco Rubio versus Sen. Ted Cruz.

Ironically, mass surveillance of the population is what makes totalitarian regimes like Fidel and Raul Castro's Communist Cuba succeed at paralyzing and repressing their people. The fear that someone is always watching and listening – which they are – is what keeps people captive in tyrannical regimes. Dissenting opinions are quashed, and dissidents disappear. Having represented several Cuban journalists who were spied upon and then held for decades in the Castros' prisons, only to have them tortured and their wives brought in and raped in front of them, I know firsthand what this Nazi-like barbaric repression is all about. It is that widespread surveillance of society that is the lynchpin for making tyranny work.

My senator, Marco Rubio, should be ashamed of himself. This kind of mass surveillance is exactly what dictators do. Rubio's "whorish" cheap political posturing, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, extolling the virtues of the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass surveillance of nearly all Americans, is revolting, particularly coming from a Cuban-American who falsely trades off of his family having allegedly escaped the tyranny of the Castro brothers. I do not advocate for any candidate, but the issue of mass surveillance to fight terrorism is being widely debated now. Concerned citizens should fight against a bigger, more intrusive, if not "Big Brother" Orwellian government.

If anyone should understand the dangers of a tyrannical and oppressive government, Cuban émigrés should "get it." Even the next generation of their children learned from their parents "our story" of why the family left Cuba for their new home. Being from Miami and having run for the U.S. Senate as a Floridian in 2003-2004, I intimately know and love the Cuban community there. I was pleased to give legal assistance to Jose Basulto of Brothers to the Rescue and family members of Elian Gonzalez (among other Cuban victims of the Castro brothers), who was kidnapped by then-Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno and sent back into slavery in Cuba.

True conservatives want to preserve our privacy and do not want their telephone calls monitored. Yet Rubio wants to restart the warrantless, dragnet surveillance of hundreds of millions of American citizens. More than that, Rubio believes that on that stance, he will takes votes away from Ted Cruz, a fellow Cuban-American who has principles and opposes the NSA's mass surveillance.

After Freedom Watch and I won a landmark court victory declaring the NSA's mass surveillance unconstitutional, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act in June, which slowly phased out the NSA's blatantly unconstitutional surveillance of the confidential communications of Americans and replaced it with less blatantly unconstitutional surveillance. Cruz voted for it as a positive step. Rubio and other establishment Republicans voted no because they want to continue the abuses exposed by Edward Snowden and in Rubio's case create a phony appearance that he is tougher than Cruz.

This dispute centers on whether the government should spy on suspected terrorists based on probable cause or instead spy on millions of innocent Americans who have nothing to do with terrorism. It's like a boy pointing his fancy new telescope at the neighbors' windows instead of looking at the planets with it. The government tells us it needs advanced surveillance capabilities to stop terrorists. Yet in the name of national security they cannot resist snooping on innocent Americans here at home instead. And, this is not idle spying; it is and can be used to silence if not destroy anyone of us who dares to take on, much less criticize the corrupt and government establishment.

The NSA and the Obama administration are the gang that can't shoot straight. They have blown every single opportunity to use their technical capabilities to protect the country. The government establishment continues to lie, claiming that if they listen to everyone's phone calls, then everything will be OK.

Yet the government did not detect the Boston Marathon bombing plot even after Russia warned us to keep an eye on the Tsarnaev brothers (Muslim refugees from Chechnya). We learned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not check social media for evidence of terrorism when San Bernardino shooter and bomber Farook's Pakistani-born Internet bride, Tafsheen Malik, applied for a fiancé visa. Also "missed" were Islamic terrorist rants on other social media.

So we have one Cuban-American, Ted Cruz, passionately opposed to government monitoring your telephone calls, text messages and emails. Meanwhile, Rubio is all for that. (And, no, I don't believe the NSA is only collecting metadata.)

Rubio is slick and well-spoken, but he is two-faced, much like another former first-term senator, the Mullah in Chief Barack Hussein Obama himself. As just one example, Rubio lied about his parents fleeing the Castros' Cuba, as confirmed by the Tampa Bay Tribune on Oct. 28, 2011. Rubio's parents left Cuba when President Fulgencio Batista was still in power, as economic immigrants – not refugees. Some reports indicate that Rubio's parents actually supported the Castro brothers. Apparently, Rubio does not see what is so wrong with a dictatorship that promises security.

In my several lawsuits as general counsel of Freedom Watch against the NSA, on Dec. 16, 2013, the Honorable Richard Leon issued a preliminary injunction stopping these massive violations of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment. Judge Leon found no evidence that NSA surveillance actually helped stop any terrorist plots. The government did not show why investigation based on probable cause, consistent with our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, could not do the same job.

Yet there is a sizable group of establishment Republicans like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush who are determined to continue the government snooping. Along with Rubio's political hatchet men, a super PAC promoting Jeb Bush is attacking Cruz for voting to end the NSA programs. Bush also thinks that spying on innocent Americans can stop terrorists. It's no wonder – his brother, former President George W. Bush, began this practice only to be rebuffed in some measure by current FBI Director James Comey, who then was a deputy attorney general.

These dangers concerned our founders who led the American Revolution and drafted our Constitution. When the people are intimidated against even disagreeing with our leaders, democracy will wither and die. As perhaps our greatest Founding Father and president, Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed, when the people fear the government there is tyranny, but when the government fears the people there is liberty.

Political hacks like Marco Rubio know better, particularly given his proud Cuban heritage. But Rubio, while being slick, is neither an honest nor principled man. Regrettably, there are other establishment Republican presidential candidates like Christie and Bush who couldn't care less about our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. It's time that they feared the people, rather than the likelihood that they, especially in Rubio's case, will jealously lose the Republican primary presidential election to a truly patriotic Cuban-American, Ted Cruz.

© Larry Klayman


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Larry Klayman

Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties... (more)


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