Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul brought his limited-government campaign to UC San Diego Friday night, assailing federal officials for their handling of a 23-year-old engineering student accidentally left in a holding cell without food or water for five days last month.
“If we need laws to restrain individuals in any way possible they should be state laws, it shouldn’t be the federal government and it shouldn’t be the DEA,” said Rep. Paul, R-Texas, also taking aim at the Federal Reserve and Transportation Security Administration.
“We know about the case of Daniel, one of the students here, of being arrested and thrown in a prison and forgotten — for five days — ending up in an intensive-care unit,” Paul said to loud boos. “And then it’s done in the name of being a compassionate conservative. That’s not compassion at all.”
Daniel Chong filed a $20 million claim Wednesday that referred to his ordeal as torture, including having to drink his own urine to survive and eating his broken glasses during hallucinations from severe dehydration.
The top local official for the Drug Enforcement Administration, William R. Sherman, apologized in a written statement and said he wanted to “express that this event is not indicative of the high standards that I hold my employees to.”
Such an abuse of liberty deserves justice, Paul said, but it’s difficult to stomach passing the potential costs on to taxpayers.
“What I would like to do is make sure that any agent of government that abuses the rights of an individual, they personally are liable and should be sued,” he said.
Elizabeth Goodrich, a history and pre-med student and president of UCSD Youth for Paul, said the mood on campus over the incident has been shock and outrage.
“I think we all grew up with the belief that the government and the police were there to protect us,” said Goodrich, 22. “He wasn’t even charged and that happened to him. I think that really scares a lot of people. It was a really horrific thing to happen.”
- DEA Ignored All My Cries Says Student Left With No Food or Water For Five Days (federaljack.com)
- Student in DEA custody forgotten without food or water for days (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Student in DEA custody forgotten without food or water for days (libertarianreview.us)
- UC San Diego Student Ignored In DEA Cell for Five Days Forced to Drink Own Urine [Injustice] (gawker.com)