Shenna Bellows on Homeland Security



NSA should target only based on individualized suspicion

Bellows is campaigning on repeal of the U.S. Patriot Act and wants to severely curb the National Security Agency's bulk data collection program--two issues that resonate with the left wing of the Democratic Party as well as libertarian-minded voters who propped up Ron Paul's strong showing in the 2012 presidential caucuses there.

"What I think we need is targeting based on individualized suspicion, reasonable suspicion that people are engaged in criminal or terrorist activity," she says in response to a question about what she thinks the NSA should be able to monitor.

Collins, seeking her fourth term, supports reforms to improve transparency and accountability but would not curtail the program to the extent Bellows wants to. "As we increase transparency and erect further barriers to intelligence collection, we must be careful that we do not put our country at greater risk of attack," she said in a statement last month.

Source: U.S.News & World Report on 2014 Maine Senate race , Feb 27, 2014

We cannot afford to be the world's policemen

International involvement of the US is one of those issues that will be important on both the local and federal level. "We cannot afford to be the world's policemen," she said, and pushed for strategic international involvement and for the US. To be diplomatic first and foremost.
Source: Machias Valley News Observer on 2014 Maine Senate race , Dec 4, 2013

No spying on foreign leaders NOR on ordinary Americans

Bellows calls out Congress for NSA complicity, amid reported US spying on world leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel. Among the critics of surveiling Merkel was Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who's chaired the Homeland Security Committee and now serves on the Intelligence Committee.

Q: Sen. Collins put out a statement saying that she's not aware of a justification for collecting intelligence on Chancellor Merkel, and that she would be telling the German ambassador that "it was wrong" for the administration to do that.

BELLOWS: We absolutely need to stop listening in on phone calls of allies like Merkel. But we also need to stop spying on millions of Americans.

Q: What about the comparative attention that those two kinds of surveillance get?

BELLOWS: It's certainly concerning to international relations to learn that we were spying on the phone conversations of some of our closest allies. But it's equally important to address the issue of spying on millions of ordinary Americans.

Source: Salon.com on 2014 Maine Senate debate, "Snowden" , Oct 30, 2013

Snowden was a whistle-blower, not a criminal

Q: What's your view of Edward Snowden?

A: We need more protection for whistle-blowers so that we can have an open conversation about what's appropriate. His revelations have been a catalyst for a national conversation that we really need to have.

Q: Should he be punished?

A: Daniel Ellsberg wrote an Op-Ed about how his revelations in the Pentagon Papers would not have been possible under current law that prohibits whistle-blowers from coming forward. And the ACLU and other civil liberties groups have been involved in Snowden's defense. We have too much secrecy surrounding these programs.

Q: Do you believe that Snowden should be either charged with a crime or detained by the US government?

A: I do not think that speaking out about matters of national import should be criminalized. Snowden is absolutely a whistle-blower and should be treated as such. He revealed government illegality and abuse of authority and we as a country depend upon truthful information about what the government is doing

Source: Salon.com on 2014 Maine Senate debate, "Snowden" , Oct 30, 2013

Stop NSA surveillance on ordinary Americans

If elected, Bellows said, she would work to repeal the Patriot Act, to "stop NSA surveillance on ordinary Americans" and to halt indefinite detention policies authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act.

Collins voted for the Patriot Act, as did most other lawmakers, and defends NSA phone surveillance activities as necessary anti-terrorism tools. She voted for the defense bill but co-sponsored an unsuccessful amendment to eliminate indefinite detention of Americans linked to terrorist groups

Source: Kevin Miller in The Morning Sentinel / Press Herald , Oct 24, 2013

Stop spending billions on surveillance-industrial complex

Source: Campaign kick-off speech in Portland , Oct 24, 2013

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Shenna Bellows on other issues:

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