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As much as I hate FreedomWorks and any Tea Party organization, I have to give them this:

The leader of the tea party group FreedomWorks asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for the password to his email account, apparently mocking him for saying Americans shouldn't fear government snooping into their phone records if they have nothing to hide.

"Senator Lindsay Graham recently asserted that violating the Fourth Amendment to implement warrantless government surveillance is not only acceptable, it’s welcomed. If we’re not talking to terrorists, we have nothing to worry about," said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said at a news conference Thursday, according to a transcript from the group.

"Respectfully, Senator, we ask you to lead by example and make your email account password available to the American people. If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about. Right?" - TPM, 6/13/13

FreedomWorks has posted a petition on their website for Graham to turn over his password:

Matt Kibbe's response comes after Graham made these comments:

Sen. Lindsey Graham would propose censoring Americans' "snail" mail if he thought it would help protect national security, the South Carolina Republican said Tuesday. But for now, he says he doesn't think it's necessary.

Faced with questions about the disclosure that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone and email records of citizens, Graham pointed to a World War II-era program in which the federal government censored mail. He said it was appropriate at the time and that he would support reinstating the program if it aided security efforts.

"In World War II, the mentality of the public was that our whole way of life was at risk, we're all in. We censored the mail. When you wrote a letter overseas, it got censored. When a letter was written back from the battlefield to home, they looked at what was in the letter to make sure they were not tipping off the enemy," Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill. "If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it, but I don't think it is." - Yahoo! News, 6/11/13

And this:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he was "glad" the National Security Agency is collecting the phone records of Verizon Communications customers, The Washington Times reported.

Speaking on Fox News, Graham explained that he was a Verizon customer and was happy to have his service provider handing over phone records to the government in an effort to track suspected terrorists.

"I'm a Verizon customer," Graham said. "I don't mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States."

Graham clarified that under the law, "you just can't track people's phone calls," and said there must be a reasonable belief that the people being surveilled are involved in terrorism.

"I don’t think you're talking to the terrorists. I know you're not. I know I'm not, so we don't have anything to worry about," he said. "I am glad that NSA is trying to find out what terrorists are up to overseas and inside the country." - Huffington Post, 6/6/13

No doubt Tea Party groups like FreedomWorks are going to hit Graham hard over his stance on the NSA surveillance program.  Businessman Richard Cash (R. SC) is one of Graham's Tea Party challengers.  State Senator Lee Bright (R. SC) is also heavily speculated to challenge Graham.  Graham's Democratic opponent, businessman Jay Stamper (D. SC), sounds ike a pretty cool guy, especially on this issue:

When I read about Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program, I had two immediate reactions: this guy looks like my cousin Brendan and this guy is a hero.

At great personal risk, Mr. Snowden broke the law in order to expose a much larger criminal enterprise: The Defense Department’s outrageous and unconstitutional mass-monitoring of domestic civilian communications. To my mind, his willingness to be branded a criminal and live as a fugitive makes his actions all the more heroic. And the irony that a champion of civil liberties was forced to seek refuge in the shadow of totalitarian China is more damning and embarrassing to us than to him.

So, as the news broke, I impulsively reached for my iPhone to tweet my support. Then I hesitated. Why take sides on such a divisive issue? Why not wait and see what happens? It’s not as if the media were beating down my door for a comment. There’s no hurry. And a tweet is forever. But then I was caught by surprise by a flash of embarrassment at my own lack of courage.

So, I tweeted:

The reaction from my small Twitter following was instant and almost universally disapproving. In short, it seemed that most of my progressive tweeps had gone all state security on me. People whose tweets were ordinarily peppered with terms like “choice,” “equality” and “civil rights” were now throwing around words like “treason,” “security” and “homeland.” It sounded like their accounts had been hacked by G. Gordon Liddy. I was getting a few messages of support – from Republicans.

What was going on? Why were so many of my fellow Democrats flaking out on civil rights? What happened to being a card a carrying member of the ACLU? I’ve entertained a few theories. Maybe in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Democrats are still so irrationally terrified of being viewed as soft on terrorism that we feel the need to overcompensate, jumping at any opportunity to prove we’re just as mercenary as anyone else. But the real explanation turns out to be more obvious; and less disturbing than it is depressing. Though initiated under President Bush, PRISM was expanded (and exposed) under a Democratic administration. The backlash I experienced was probably just a case of Democrats protecting a Democratic administration. This theory is supported by the numerous emails I received from Democrats telling me to cool it on the hero talk because I was playing right into the hands of the Republicans.

As Democrats, we should not be trying to minimize the seriousness of genuine misconduct when it happens under a Democratic administration. On the contrary, Democrats – not Republicans – should be the most ardent critics of a Democratic administration that operates in a manner inconsistent with our values. After all, it’s our brand that’s being tarnished. - FITS News, 6/13/13

Well said indeed.  Stamper may be an underdog but he has my support for sure.  You can check out his website here:

And you should read his interview Down With Tyranny here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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