Allen West says Patriot Act an “illusion of safety”

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Kurt Wallace: Our guest today on Rare is Allen West, United States Army Lieutenant Colonel for 22 years. A former US Congressman, his new book Guardian of the Republic and Allen West, thanks for being with us today on Rare.

Allen West: It’s an honor to be with Rare, thanks so much.

Kurt Wallace: In 2011, as a US Congressman, you said – regarding the Patriot Act – quote, “I am not fully convinced that by extending these provisions for four years, we would be any safer, but instead I fear they may only give us the illusion of being safer.” As a libertarian myself, I have to commend you , on voting “No” to the extensions of the Patriot Act.

Allen West: Well, yeah and unfortunately there’s some misconceptions out there and people out there saying that I voted “Yes.” What I voted was for a 90-day extension because I think it’s very important to be able to ask the right questions and get more information about it. And when the then FBI Director [Robert] Mueller refused to answer any of my inquiries and I was not able to get any satisfaction in understanding that it had any real effect.

So I voted “No” for the Patriot Act to be extended for the full 4 to 5 year period. Because, like I said, it’s an illusion of safety much the same as when you go through the airport you have to take off your shoes and go through all of the machinations of being scanned and what have you. When you travel with El Al [Airlines] to Israel, you don’t have to do those types of things, and they are quite secure and quite safe. So I think we have a lot of the overreach of the bureaucratic state to, once again, give us this perception of being secure when we’re not.

I think it was Benjamin Franklin who gave us the quote, “Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for more security will, in the end, be deserving of neither.” I don’t want to see us go down that path.

Kurt Wallace: Definitely. You have a new book, “Guardian of the Republic.” Tell us about the book.

Allen West: Well, I’ll tell you, it is a book that I term it a philosophical biography. It takes my upbringing from the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia, my experiences in the military, and how my political philosophy was developed looking at the founding fathers – going back and doing some readings – and talking about the establishment of this Republic. Today as I sit up here in Philadelphia where I did an event last night. I’m staying at the Omni Hotel which is right down the street from Independence Hall. As I look out my window, I’m looking at Independence Hall, which is the birthplace of our nation, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. And as they finished their deliberation over the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin came out and Mrs. Powell asked him the question, “So, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” And Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

And really what this book is about is that challenge that Benjamin Franklin gave us to keep this Republic. It’s my story of being a guardian, but it’s a clarion call for others to be guardians of this republic because right now, I believe we’re seeing it slip away. The single question I ask in this book to everyone is – when back in 2008 – then Senator Obama said, “We’re five days away from fundamentally transforming America.” And the crowd went crazy cheering, but no one asked him what we were fundamentally transforming to? No one asked him what we were fundamentally transforming from? So right now, I think that the challenge Franklin gave us as a Republic, we are starting to see ourselves not meet up to that challenge. I want to see us make changes to our Republic and pass it on to subsequent generations.

Kurt Wallace: Allen West thanks for spending some time with us today on Rare

Allen West: Thanks for having me.


Purchase Allan West’s new book “Guardian of the Republic

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