While Republicans and some Democrats have said that the NSA surveillance is a sign of the President’s overreach, while claiming naiveté as to what the Patriot Act allows — and astonishment over PRISM — as it turns out, Obama administration officials held 22 separate briefings or meetings for members of Congress on this very matter. Although it’s not certain yet if PRISM was or was not discussed.
The law that has been used to justify the National Security Agency’s controversial email monitoring program, according to data provided by a senior administration official, is no stranger to Congress.
The Huffington Post reports:
According to the official, the sessions that took place over the course of 14 months starting in October 2011 touched on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act, which gives the attorney general and director of national intelligence the authority to gather intelligence on non-U.S. citizens for up to one year. Section 702 has been cited by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as the legal basis for the NSA’s PRISM program, which has allowed the government to track email communication data.
Even if Congress did not read the Patriot Act which most signed, including FISA, they were briefed.
10/19/11: Meeting with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Staff
1/10/12: House Judiciary Committee Staff Briefings (majority and minority separately briefed)
1/11/12: Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Briefings (majority and minority separately briefed)
3/5/12: Meeting with Nancy Pelosi
3/8/12: Meeting with Harry Reid Staff
3/15/12: Law Briefing for Senate Judiciary Committee staff
3/15/12: Briefing for Senate Leadership Staff
3/21/12: Meeting with Mitch McConnell Staff
3/23/12: Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Briefing at NSA
3/27/12: Meeting with Jim Langevin
3/28/12: Meeting with Jan Schakowsky
3/29/12: Thompson Meeting*
3/29/12: Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall Meeting
4/10/12: Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Briefing (in Virginia)
4/20/12: Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Briefing at FBI
5/4/12: Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Briefing
5/31/12: House Judiciary Committee FAA Hearing (unclassified)
6/7/12: House Judiciary Committee MEMBER Briefing (classified)
6/11/12: Meeting with Patrick Leahy Staff
6/21/12: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing (classified)
7/18/12: Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse/Richard Blumenthal Meeting
12/10/12: Akaka Meeting
* The Washington Post reported the meeting as with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).
Mitch McConnell’s office replied to the Huffington Post, “We have received numerous briefings on FISA and Patriot Act over the years, these are in addition to the normal oversight of intelligence activities that take place within the Intelligence Committee. I’d have to check the specific date of this one though.”
Much more at the Huffington Post.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 FreakOutNation.com