New House Intelligence Boss Doesn't See The Need For Any Surveillance Reform
from the oversight! dept
Mario Trujillo, over at The Hill, has highlighted how the incoming House Intelligence Committee boss, Devin Nunes, doesn’t believe any surveillance reform is necessary, based largely on an opinion piece he wrote back in July entitled “don’t shackle the NSA now.”
The article is the typical FUD from surveillance state supporters, talking about terror threats and ISIS up front to keep you scared, followed by insults directed at Ed Snowden, and finishing off with a “we need this information to keep us safe” conclusion. Straight out of the classic surveillance state apologists’ handbook. The attack on whistleblowing by Snowden is particularly ridiculous:
But for the last year, various groups have sought to curtail our intelligence activities based on selectively presented, maliciously leaked documents about anti-terror programs that are widely misunderstood and whose effects have been wildly exaggerated.
These programs, which are subject to multiple levels of oversight by all three branches of government, have been crucial in stopping dozens of terror attacks, including plots against the New York Stock Exchange and the New York City subway system.
First of all, the groups have actually been looking to protect Americans’ Constitutional rights and freedoms. And, the job of the head of the Intelligence Committee is supposed to be to protect those rights — not to defend the NSA. But Nunes appears to see himself in the mode of his predecessor, Mike Rogers, who always viewed his key job as defending the NSA, rather than overseeing it. Second, the “oversight” claims have all been shown to be exaggerated in the past — and all three branches of government have also presented evidence of both widespread abuse and that these programs were illegal and/or unconstitutional.
Finally, the programs have not been shown to be crucial in stopping terror attacks, and each of the claims made saying that have been largely debunked — including the bomb plots Nunes names (which were debunked within days of first being claimed).
Shouldn’t we be concerned that the guy in charge of “oversight” of the NSA is spreading debunked arguments in favor of the NSA spying and unconstitutional privacy violations? Shouldn’t that disqualify him from the job?