GOLDEN, COLORADO — Tea Party presidential candidate Rand Paul is in favor of the unrestricted right of citizens to own assault weapons, so it’s no surprise that Sen. Paul was here in Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado today. As chronicled by a solitary reporter, he met with State Sen. Tim Neville, a Republican who is a steadfast member of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. RMGO is a “No Compromise,” pro-gun organization, and its founder, Dudley Brown, is considered to be the 24th most powerful person in Colorado politics.
While meeting yesterday evening with Sen. Neville, Sen. Paul happened to be watching “Last Week with John Oliver" on Comedy Central. On yesterday’s show, Oliver discussed at length section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which the NSA claims as its legal authority, through the secret FISA Court, to collect and retain as much sensitive information about Americans as it desires.
Oliver explained that the USA Patriot Act will expire on June 1, and he urged a thoroughgoing public debate as to whether that statute, passed immediately after 9/11, should be extended, or allowed to die.
In furtherance of that goal, Mr. Oliver flew to Moscow for a scheduled interview with Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor and whistleblower who took it upon himself to reveal, to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, thousands of secret NSA documents, prompting the US Justice Department to charge him with theft of government property and two counts of violating the 1917 Espionage Act through unauthorized communication of national defense information. Snowden has been living in Moscow under a temporary visa as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to make life as difficult as possible for President Obama.
Oliver asked Snowden at length about the NSA’s extensive capabilities, using as an example what happens if a man photographs his penis and transmits it on the Internet in vain hopes of attracting a crazed woman in severe need of free sex. Nonplussed, Snowden responded by explaining in detail how the NSA captures anything sent on the Internet.
As Paul watched the show, he suddenly told Neville, “I pretend to be a Republican, but I’m really a Libertarian. Our government tramples on our privacy every second of every minute of every day."
“Tim, you’re a great guy and everything, and God knows, I need all of Colorado’s nine electoral votes to win the White House, but for a running mate, I need somebody who is already a national hero for those who love liberty. I’m picking Edward Snowden as my running mate.”
The solitary reporter, acting purely as an intermediary, tweeted Oliver about Paul’s impetuous decision. Snowden immediately let Paul know that he will gladly accept the offer to become vice president, "But first, I absolutely need for the State Department to restore my passport to me, and they’ll never do that as long as Obama is president.”
As of press time, Neville was imploring Paul to make him his vice president.