O’Reilly Slams NSA Program: 'Gov't Intrusion Didn't Stop Boston Bombers'
Bill O’Reilly weighed in on the government’s surveillance program that’s causing quite a controversy. An American named Edward Snowden claims he leaked information regarding the NSA’s program that tracks Americans’ Internet data and phone records. People on the right and the left and everywhere in between are voicing their opinions. So where does the Factor host stand?
“This is one big mess and ideologically, absolute chaos,” O’Reilly said in his Talking Points Memo.
First of all, O’Reilly believes that Snowden should be arrested, “even though what he did may ultimately be a good thing.” He said there’d be anarchy if Americans freely leaked national security information.
It’s still unclear exactly what the government is doing, other than data mining and building a massive complex in Utah that will house all this info. O’Reilly warned that like the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, corrupt government officials could use this data illegally.
“You know I’m a very tough guy on national security. I support the Patriot Act, I support drone warfare, I support Guantanamo Bay. But this is dangerous. The IRS scandal proves the federal government can and has abused its power for political reasons.”
In the name of national security, O’Reilly said chronicling time, place and duration of a phone call may be acceptable. “But emails are a different story. There you have actual words on paper that people have said in private. And if that stuff is being stored in Utah, that’s flat out unconstitutional.”
He said, “The war on terror requires aggressive federal surveillance. Sane people know that. Storing phone data is questionable, but I think it’s permissible under the Constitution – if things aren’t tapped.”
Furthermore, O’Reilly said, “The feds will tell you they won’t go after specific individuals unless there’s probable cause, but there can’t be probable cause unless they look at the emails to find a dubious situation.”
After quoting the Fourth Amendment, O’Reilly said, “You can’t just seize everything and say you’re doing so to try to root out terrorism. You have to have probable cause to violate the privacy of an American.”
Echoing statements by Senator Rand Paul on Fox News Sunday, O’Reilly said, “We simply can’t have American authorities spying on the folks, storing their emails. It can’t happen. This PRISM program should be shut down immediately. If it’s not, a class-action suit should be filed and the Supreme Court should hear it as quickly as it can.”
“And one more thing,” O’Reilly said. “All this government intrusion didn’t stop those Boston bombers, did it? And those two terrorists were all over the net.”