The latest revelations about the NSA have prompted a number of lawmakers and advocacy groups to call for reform, but the issue isn’t really about Snowden, it seems.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said in a statement: “The issue is far bigger than Edward Snowden.
It’s a big deal because it threatens the safety of every American.
Snowden is a national security threat, and it is our duty to protect our nation.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D, Vermont, said in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that the NSA is “a national security risk and an enormous, national security opportunity.”
He said the agency “does everything within its power to thwart our foreign intelligence-gathering and surveillance mission.
And that’s why I’m calling for immediate and full accountability from the executive branch and Congress for this blatant abuse of power.”
Former NSA Director Michael Hayden, who is now a professor at Georgetown University, told ABC News in an interview last year that Snowden was “an idiot” and should be released.
He said the NSA’s activities “can be justified and even justified as necessary for national security purposes.”
The NSA is not a national-security risk, Hayden said.
It is a huge national security and intelligence-collection opportunity.
The problem is that this intelligence gathering is being done by a handful of rogue, unqualified, over-qualified and incompetent employees who have abused the trust and oversight of Congress.
Justin Amash, R-Mich., and John Conyers, D.C., wrote in a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper last week that the program’s scope “does not warrant the public’s confidence that it is operating within the law.”