Dec 7, 2013
Legislators Kept in Dark About NSA
Posted on Aug 4, 2013
Forces within the government have repeatedly thwarted attempts by members of Congress to learn basic information about the National Security Agency and the secret court that authorizes its activities, documents provided by two House members show.
Since details of the agency’s virtually unlimited digital domestic and international spying program were revealed in early June, the NSA’s defenders have insisted that Congress is aware of the activities and is empowered to supervise them.
“These programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate,” President Obama said the day after news of the agency’s bulk collection of phone records was published. “And if there are members of Congress who feel differently, then they should speak up.”
But legislators from both political parties have denied that they possess the level of detail the NSA claims for them. Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the story on the agency’s spying, points to a question put to Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut by MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Wednesday.
“How much are you learning about what the government that you are charged with overseeing and holding accountable is doing from the newspaper and how much of this do you know?” Hayes asked.
Sen. Blumenthal replied: “The revelations about the magnitude, the scope and scale of these surveillances, the metadata and the invasive actions surveillance of social media websites were indeed revelations to me.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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