U.S. officials continue to defend the NSA program, saying that there’s nothing illegal going on and that everyone in Congress knew.Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote for the Detroit Free Press that neither program allows the NSA to read e-mails or listen to phone calls of American citizens, nor do they violate any American’s Fourth Amendment rights.
“Both are strictly overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a federal court created in 1978 to protect the rights of American citizens in the course of foreign intelligence gathering,” Rogers writes.
This is yet another carefully crafted statement that fails to address the liberties and freedoms of those who are not citizens of the United States.
And while the leaked documents indicated that the data was gathered openly, without any sort of legal backbone, politicians insist that everything was done in the right manner, which involves court orders and official pleas with the companies that hold the compromising data.
Another thing that Mike Rogers talks about is the fact that all 535 members of Congress have had access to classified briefings describing the specific uses of these two programs.
This fact has been negated by many Congress members over the past weeks who have denied any knowledge of any of the two NSA programs.
Rogers claims, however, that not all members have chosen to attend these briefings. And if skipping a meeting is the answer to why so many members of the Congress had no idea about PRISM, the question remains if the same people skipped all the briefings that have been made regarding the programs since they began, namely 2008, at the very least.
Of course, an answer will most likely never be provided and they’ll continue to defend the surveillance programs regardless of the truth.