Political Theater and NSA's Data Collection Program

Hosted by

President Obama isn't the only one warning that, if a key provision of the Patriot Act is allowed to expire, Americans will be in danger. Republican Senator John McCain called the program “as critical as it's ever been.” But fellow Republican Rand Paul, who's now getting the credit — and the blame — for the fact that Section 215 of the Patriot Act has been allowed to expire, says the real issue is the intrusion of big government on individual Americans.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also comes from Kentucky, and he's endorsed Rand Paul's presidential campaign while opposing his reforms to the NSA program. Now he's come around to allowing a vote on the compromise USA Freedom Act, already passed by the house, saying it strikes a critical balance between privacy and national security.” While all three senators assume that the Patriot Act gives the NSA broad powers it wouldn't have otherwise and that allowing it to expire will make a real difference, others say that's not necessarily so.