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Paul seeks panel to oversee domestic work of spy agencies

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By The Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 10:09 p.m.

BERKELEY, Calif. — Sen. Rand Paul, one of the foremost critics of the government's domestic spying program, went to the birthplace of the free speech movement on Wednesday to deliver a searing indictment of the intelligence community and call for a sweeping congressional investigation of its activities.

Speaking just off the University of California, Berkeley, campus, the Kentucky Republican depicted an supercilious federal government prying into the most intimate reaches of people's lives: from the books they purchase to the medications they take for their ills.

“I say what you read or what you send in your email or your text messages is none of their damn business,” Paul said to whoops and applause from the friendly, largely youthful crowd of several hundred.

Paul said that on his return to Washington, he would call for forming a bipartisan committee — modeled after one that scrutinized CIA abuses in the 1970s — to conduct an unfettered examination of the country's spy agencies.

“It should watch the watchers,” he said.

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