Rand Paul's Berkeley talk: A U.S. dystopia?
By: Katie Glueck
March 19, 2014 08:19 AM EDT
Sen. Rand Paul is set to offer a dark portrait of the intelligence community on Wednesday, raising the prospect of “dystopian nightmares” in a speech at the University of California-Berkeley.
The Kentucky Republican, who is heavily weighing a 2016 presidential bid, is speaking at the historically liberal bastion at a time when he is seeking to broaden the GOP base. He has long pointed to privacy concerns as an issue that could woo young people to a more libertarian-leaning Republican brand — like his.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m worried,” he will say, according to an early look at remarks shared exclusively with POLITICO’s Playbook. “If the CIA is spying on Congress, who exactly can or will stop them? I look into the eyes of senators and I think I see real fear. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I think I perceive FEAR of an intelligence community drunk with power, unrepentant, and uninclined to relinquish power.”
Paul’s remarks will follow Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) charges last week that the CIA may have conducted unauthorized searches of computers used by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers. CIA Director John Brennan has denied the allegation.
“I am honestly worried,” Paul is to say, “concerned about who is truly in charge of our government. Most of you have read the dystopian nightmares and maybe, like me, you doubted that it could ever happen in America.”
The speech will take place at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Berkeley Forum, in the Chevron Auditorium of International House, to a sold-out crowd of close to 400.