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The US House rejected the suspension of illegal NSA surveillance. Why was a vote even necessary? And where are the hearings about this illegal surveillance and its unbridled funding? Here is Rep. Bachmann’s thoughts on the amendment:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told her colleagues that she opposed the amendment because telephone records are not considered private property. She also blasted Snowden for disclosing sensitive information to the news media, saying “This was not an act of a patriot, this was an act of a traitor.”
These representatives are traitors? What else would you call these domestic enemies who have abandoned their oath to the Bill of Rights and turned the Republic into a police state?
Moments ago, an unlikely grouping between a 33-year old Republican, Rep-Justin Amash, and an 84-year old Democrat, Rep-John Conyers, resulted in a House vote, that if passed, would have suspended the NSA’s “indiscriminate collection of phone records” and effectively ended the program’s statutory authority. Yet despite significant lobbying by the White House, security experts and representative on both sides of the aisle, the vote came within a startlingly close 12 votes of passage. A majority of Democrats, 111, voted for Amash’s amendment despite the full court press while 83 Democrats voted no. The GOP vote was 94-134. That the vote did not pass is not surprising. However, that it came to just 12 votes of passage is the stunning development and shows a sea change of how Congress approaches both personal privacy and the broader implications of the Patriot Act. All of it thanks to the action of one man who at last check was still stuck in the transit terminal in Moscow.
From The Hill:
Wednesday’s vote came after the White House and lawmakers who support the NSA’s surveillance activities launched a major offensive against Amash’s measure after it was granted a vote Monday evening.
The offensive underlined the significance of Wednesday’s vote, which was the first time that Congress weighed in on the NSA’s spying programs since they were revealed by The Guardian and The Washington Post last month.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement Wednesday against Amash’s amendment, saying it risked “dismantling an important intelligence tool.”
And on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a rare evening statement announcing the White House’s opposition.
“We oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools,” Carney said.
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, meanwhile, made himself available to answer lawmakers’ questions about the program on Tuesday in classified, members-only briefings.