Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul sharply criticized President Obama’s speech on the future of bulk surveillance, saying: “The NSA cannot oversee themselves. … Really, [Obama’s] not gonna fundamentally change any of this.”
Instead of a careful examination of what the NSA does, the legality of its actions, and how effective it has been in its stated mission of protecting Americans, we increasingly have government officials or retired versions of the same demanding—quite literally—Edward Snowden’s head and engaging in the usual fear-mongering over 9/11.
Author Seth Rosenfeld, whose book “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power” explored the federal government’s domestic spying programs of a generation ago, calls for a new incarnation of the Church Committee to mine the extent of present-day domestic spying. But can this Congress focus on truth ahead of political spin and gamesmanship?
Top-secret material passed to The Guardian shows that the National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to help major Internet companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook cover the cost of certification for participating in the PRISM surveillance program.
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.