There was a showing of the new documentary, Terms and Conditions May Apply
late last week in Washington DC, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich stopped by and made some very pointed remarks while discussing the NSA's surveillance activities
. The (well-timed) documentary, of course, looks at how companies and the government use and abuse everyone's digital data. Kucinich's remarks are well worth listening to, as he suggests that Congress should abolish the NSA
, while also saying that Ed Snowden deserves a ticker-tape parade
The key quotes come in response to the film's director, Cullen Hoback, asking what would it take for Congress to hold James Clapper accountable for lying to Congress:
Well, you know it's illegal to lie to Congress, but everyone lies to Congress. As soon as they raise their right hand, watch out! Clapper should be held responsible, but he won't be, because that's the condition we're in right now. In a just world, Snowden, we'd be having ticker tape parades for him. But that's not what's going to happen.
[....] We have the CIA, the FBI, a dozen other intelligence infrastructures. Frankly -- and I'm saying this with a lifetime's experience in government here -- it's time to punch the NSA's ticket here. They've ruined the brand. They've destroyed the idea of privacy. We need some kind of symbolic and profound approach here, that says, 'look, you've violated something that's very dear to the American people -- you don't get to do that.' We talk about the death penalty for individuals, which I oppose, but I think there needs to be for government agencies that so broadly betray the public interest, there needs to be a measure of responsibility. And if they go beyond the pale, which the NSA has, they just ought to be abolished. We don't need the spying.
There have been a lot of strong words about all of this coming from some members of Congress, but these may be the strongest yet.