National Security

Patriot Act Author Challenges NSA

Dec. 11, 2013
James Sensenbrenner

In a March Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that the National Security Agency (NSA) does not – at least “not wittingly” – collect massive amounts of information on Americans. In May, of course, NSA contractor Edward Snowden stole and released a vast trove of information on NSA programs, revealing that the NSA does, in fact, collect records on virtually every phone call made in the U.S. among other sweeping electronic surveillance. That led Clapper to apologize for his “misleading” statement.

Patriot Act author Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) now wants Clapper fired and prosecuted for lying to Congress. He also wants NSA director Keith Alexander fired for overseeing the mass surveillance. Something tells us, however, that neither will happen.

Furthermore, Sensenbrenner introduced the USA FREEDOM Act, which seeks “To rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies, increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests, and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before the FISC.” The prospects of Sensenbrenner's bill are unclear.

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16 Comments

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Sensenbrenner has got to go. The Patriot Act must be abolished. It repealed the Fourth Amendment. Bush the Younger and Cheney also pushed it. Now Cheney's daughter is running for the senate in Wyoming. Ever hear the apple does not fall far from the tree?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:05 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

Legislation may steal, ignore or trample upon our rights, but it cannot repeal amendments, nor legitimately take away our rights. The original PATRIOT Act did not by itself compromise the rights of citizens, but it placed far too much trust in the integrity of those who would carry out its provisions. As we have seen, in the hands of a dishonest administration, that trust has been seriously abused. The PATRIOT Act was designed for the Bush Administration, not for Mr. Obama. Renewing it after 2008 was a mistake.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

MNICE, the Patriot Act did take our rights away. It effectively repealed the Fourth Amendment. Bush and Cheney should have been impeached for pushing the Patriot Act.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

The Captain in Moorestown, NJ said:

It's one thing for civilian political appointees of a corrupt president to violate his or Oath of Office. But when general officers start compromising their integrity and Oaths of Office, the nation is in big trouble. In the future, all serving officers are going to have to determine exactly who the "enemies, foreign and domestic" are, and make a moral choice as to where their loyalties lie - with the Constitution or with their careers.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM

billy396 in ohio said:

In the administration of Barry Obozo, it's standard operating procedure for administrators, Cabinst Secretaries, and anyone else to lie under oath and get away with it. No one has ever been fired for wrongdoing in this administration, They either keep their job and lie to Congress, or they lie and get a promotion or moved to another position. There is absolutely zero accountability. Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton BOTH committed perjury by lying under oath, and we have irrefutable proof of those facts, yet no one gets punished for perjury. If a conservative had openly lied to Congress, there would be hell to pay. The Leftmedia would see to it. Yet when Obozo's pals lie, we hear crickets, with "news" about cute little "human interest stories". 80% of the media in this country is backing this marxist regime and the huge government takeovers that go with it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Jerry in muskegon mi said:

It is disgusting to have people in our Government who intentionally lie about what they are doing--and get away with it. A lot of behavior modification is needed.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

T.F. Coleman in KS said:

I doubt the NSA will ever be reigned in. Check out my novel titled Deadly Provocation - A Year of Domestic Surveillance available on amazon about the abuse of power by the people in control of Big Data and surveillance technology.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Jiggs in Millen, GA said:

Wise up you clowns. Nobody in the Obama Administration ever gets fired. Sebelius should have been fired, but was not, those who failed in the Benghazi fgiasco should have been fired, but weren't either. No, it's the old Peter Principle thing, folks, when you have reached your level of incompetance, you get promoted. And, until we get a change in the Oval Office, it ain't gonna change. In life, ignorance can be cured, but stupidity is forever. In this administration, stupidity is rewarded. Our country was founded by geniuses, but now is governed by idiots.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Bill in Leawood, Kansas replied:

If the elected officials are idiots what does that say about those who elected them?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Jayve in ABQ, NM replied:

It says we're screwed, or as Mac puts it, put a fork in us, we're done.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Bill in Leawood, Kansas said:

Lying to Congress and to the people is SOP in the Obama administration

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

MAJ USA Ret in Saint Louis said:

Our right to privacy must always be limited by the need for national security. However, how secure is a nation that denies its citizens the right to privacy? The NSA and entire alphabet soup of national security agencies must have the ability to conduct counter intelligence activities to provide our security. But concurrently, this must not violate our rights to privacy. Thus, the conundrum: precisely where must the lines be drawn? The media make lots of money hyper reporting the NSA is spying on US citizens. But after 9-11 they were rightfully demanding how terrorists could train and live in our neighborhoods for years without us knowing or taking effective defensive measures. Can't answer they have a right to privacy.
It would help if enforcement of our laws differentiated against citizens and non-citizens. But Democrat nominees require the votes of non-citizens and so they block all efforts to verify the voter is a citizen crying discrimination!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 4:55 PM

lysander in New Iberia, LA replied:

Major USA Retired,
Thank you for your service. But whether for national security concerns or just for the hell of it, please cite passages from the Constitution that grant government the authority to over-ride the 4th Amendment's "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects...?

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM

PaulRod in Kansas City MO said:

Interesting---Clapper makes a stupid (and probably unintentional) mistake, and Sensenbrenner wants him strung up on an anthill. Obama lies to the American people over and over again,, and nobody so much as sneezes. Would somebody in Washington please grow a pair, and arrest the Lima Mike Fox?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM

MNIce in Minnesota said:

At a minimum, FISA requests should go before a grand jury chosen from the people in the normal manner..

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM

lysander in New Iberia, LA said:

Whether Mr. Sensenbrenner's bill passes or not makes little difference. It's the 4th amndment that's being negated; and will continue to be so: "The right of the people to be secure in their person's, houses, papers, and effects...shall not be violated...". FYI, it's an admonition against abuses by government.
"When you sit down to negotiate what you already have, you lose." - Rep. Marie Pariente (D-CA).

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM