During a hearing on Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) criticized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its authoritarian practices and lack of success in securing the nation's borders.
Rand Paul Torches DHS Head: Your Practices Are "Like Something Out of Stalin's Russia" – WATCHhttps://t.co/jPy96gpWVT
— The Daily Fetched (@DailyFetched) April 19, 2023
Paul observed in his introductory comments that the DHS has deviated from its initial mandate and has utilized its wide-ranging powers and resources to restrict the freedoms of American citizens. He also remarked that the complete extent of the DHS's infringement on the rights of its own citizens remains largely unexplored.
Rand Paul: “DHS even put out a video encouraging children to report their own family members to Facebook for disinformation if they challenged US government narratives on COVID-19. Does that not sound like something out of 1984…out of Stalin’s Russia?”pic.twitter.com/Mrsq80spKU
— Michael P Senger (@michaelpsenger) April 18, 2023
The @DHSgov has veered from its counterterrorism mission into tracking social and political movements and monitoring First Amendment-protected activity of American citizens. This kind of abuse of power should terrify all of us regardless of which side of the aisle you are on. pic.twitter.com/6diEkQJ2H6
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) April 18, 2023
Senator Paul highlighted that the DHS had produced a video that urged children to report their family members to Facebook for spreading "disinformation" if they question the US government's narrative on Covid-19. He likened this action to practices seen in Stalin's Russia or George Orwell's novel "1984."
Additionally, Paul remarked that the general public has only recently become aware of the extent to which the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the DHS was employed to monitor and censor social media of American citizens for "misinformation" and "disinformation."
Senator Paul highlighted that claims about COVID-19 that are now confirmed by evidence were previously flagged as disinformation, including his own remarks on the effectiveness of masks, natural immunity, and the origins of the virus. These statements were previously regarded as "disinformation" by the government.
Furthermore, the Senator highlighted a report published by the Brennan Center for Justice last month, which found that at least 12 DHS programs overlap in monitoring the online activities of Americans. The report concluded that vague mandates, inadequate safeguards, and fragmented oversight have contributed to the proliferation of overreach and abuses across DHS intelligence programs.
In his concluding remarks, Senator Paul emphasized that the abuse of power witnessed in the DHS should concern all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. He stated that Congress cannot continue to increase the funding and responsibilities of an agency that clearly misunderstands its legal authority and purpose.
Senator Rand Paul's remarks indicate his serious concerns about the Department of Homeland Security's authoritarian practices and its failure to secure the nation's borders. He is committed to protecting the freedoms of American citizens and ensuring that our government is accountable for its actions. It is high time for Congress to take action and ensure that the DHS adheres to higher standards and aligns its practices with the values of our country.