Senator Lindsey Graham Defends NSA Surveillance By Arguing About Something Entirely Different
from the who-elected-this-guy? dept
We recently mentioned that Senator Lindsey Graham said he was happy that the NSA was collecting the data on his calls, because he doesn’t speak to terrorists. Of course, that’s an incredibly ignorant statement in many, many ways. However, Senator Graham is continuing to make very silly statements about the NSA surveillance program. During an appearance on Meet the Press, Graham defended the program because, he explained, we should be tracking terrorists:
“I believe we should be listening to terrorists, known terrorist emails, following their emails and following their phone calls. And if they’re emailing somebody and the United States or calling a number in the United States, I would like to get a judge’s position to monitor that phone call,” Graham said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “If we don’t do that, another attack on our homeland is very likely.”
That’s nice and all… but the things he discussed — listening to terrorists, and getting info on their emails — have nothing to do with the new programs that have been revealed. That kind of stuff was possible well before all of these new things came along. The NSA has long been able to do surveillance on such things. And, law enforcement has been able to go to a judge and get a wiretap order on phone calls. But that’s not what has everyone concerned: it’s the fact that this program collects data on everyone. It’s not just collecting data on terrorists, and much of it doesn’t require having to go to a judge to monitor specific information. Rather, broad collections of data are being pulled, so that the NSA can later go through them.
It’s shameful that Senator Graham would so misrepresent what this debate is about. Either he doesn’t understand it (which is horrifying) or he’s deliberately misleading the public about it (which is worse).