Keith Alexander head of the National security agency states that its dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent. Congress on intelligence matters would argue on behalf of these programs known as “215” and ”702” for the sections of the laws that authorize them. Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers ranking members of the house intel committee told reporters that the programs are critical components of the governments efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. Just one day earlier Saxby Chanbliss and Dianne Feinstein made a similar case.
Virtually every public official with detailed knowledge of these programs has spent time over the past two week touting their reported successes and arguing for their continuation. BUT not Obama. This man has spoken just once publicly about them since the recent leaks that brought additional scrutiny and then only in response to a reporters question. Obama seemed interested primarily in making clear that the programs weren’t his alone and in letting everyone know just how happy he is that the country is having a national debate about them.
“every member of congress has been briefed on this program,” he said of “215” which involves the collection of telephony metadata. The president said “ it’s important to understand that your duly elected representatives have been consistently informed on exactly what we’re doing and this program by the way is fully overseen not just by congress but by the FISA court.”
Obama only contribution to the discussion was a brief and somewhat apologetic acknowledgment of the obvious point that his adm had decided to continue the programs.
“these programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate”. “We’ll have a chance to talk further during the course of the next couple days”. That was June 7, and that was the last we’ve heard form the president on the subject.
Obama had opposed programs like these as a senator and railed against them as a candidate. And less than a month ago, he declared an end to the global was on terror and announced a return to a pre 9/11 approach to al Qaeda. Why has he changed his mind and how he can justify continuing these programs in the face of a diminished threat?
Source—weekly standard, steve hayes