[Congressional Record: March 13, 2008 (Extensions)]
[Page E383]

                          LIVING BY THE SWORD


                             HON. RON PAUL

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 13, 2008

  Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, it has been said that ``he who lives by the 
sword shall die by the sword.'' And in the case of Eliot Spitzer this 
couldn't be more true. In his case it's the political sword, as his 
enemies rejoice in his downfall. Most people, it seems, believe he got 
exactly what he deserved.
  The illegal tools of the state brought Spitzer down, but think of all 
the harm done by Spitzer in using the same tools against so many other 
innocent people. He practiced what could be termed ``economic 
McCarthyism,'' using illegitimate government power to build his 
political career on the ruined lives of others.
  No matter how morally justified his comeuppance may be, his downfall 
demonstrates the worst of our society. The possibility of uncovering 
personal moral wrongdoing is never a justification for the government 
to spy on our every move and to participate in sting operations.
  For government to entice a citizen to break a law with a sting 
operation--that is, engaging in activities that a private citizen is 
prohibited by law from doing--is unconscionable and should clearly be 
  Though Spitzer used the same tools to destroy individuals charged 
with economic crimes that ended up being used against him, gloating 
over his downfall should not divert our attention from the fact that 
the government spying on American citizens is unworthy of a country 
claiming respect for liberty and the fourth amendment.
  Two wrongs do not make a right. Two wrongs make it doubly wrong.
  Sacrifice of our personal privacy has been ongoing for decades, but 
has rapidly accelerated since 9/11. Before 9/11 the unstated goal of 
collecting revenue was the real reason for the erosion of our financial 
privacy. When 19 suicidal maniacs attacked us on 9/11, our country 
became convinced that further sacrifice of personal and financial 
privacy was required for our security.
  The driving force behind this ongoing sacrifice of our privacy has 
been fear and the emotional effect of war rhetoric--war on drugs, war 
against terrorism, and the war against third world nations in the 
Middle East who are claimed to be the equivalent to Hitler and Nazi 
  But the real reason for all this surveillance is to build the power 
of the state. It arises from a virulent dislike of free people running 
their own lives and spending their own money. Statists always demand 
control of the people and their money.
  Recently we've been told that this increase in the already 
intolerable invasion of our privacy was justified because the purpose 
was to apprehend terrorists. We were told that the massive amounts of 
information being collected on Americans would only be used to root out 
terrorists. But as we can see today, this monitoring of private 
activities can also be used for political reasons. We should always be 
concerned when the government accumulates information on innocent 
  Spitzer was brought down because he legally withdrew cash from a 
bank--not because he committed a crime. This should prompt us to 
reassess and hopefully reverse this trend of pervasive government 
intrusion in our private lives.
  We need no more Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act! No more 
Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Acts! No more 
torture! No more Military Commissions Act! No more secret prisons and 
extraordinary rendition! No more abuse of habeas corpus! No more 
  What we need is more government transparency and more privacy for the