NSA revelations haven’t slowed the House GOP’s attacks on civil liberties

They can’t pass a farm bill but they can pass indefinite detention

Mike_Rogers_109th_Congress_photoIn the weeks since Edward Snowden released classified details about the NSA’s programs, the House GOP has reaffirmed the indefinite detention of American citizens, blocked the president’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay prison and held a hearing to defend the NSA.

Meanwhile, Speaker Boehner joined Dick Cheney and Rep. Michele Bachmann in calling Snowden a “traitor.”

Boehner isn’t just attacking the man who made the revelations, he’s defending the surveillance programs in a way that seems designed to circumvent the calls for more transparency coming from a small but bipartisan group of Senators have called for.

“Every time that I’ve been in a briefing, nine out of 10 people in the room are lawyers there to protect the privacy of the American people,” Boehner said.

But no Republican has been more unrelenting of his support of surveillance that Michigan’s Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“Any comparison to government abuses in decades past is highly misleading,” the congressman — who is also a huge supporter of CISPA, “one of the most privacy infringing pieces of legislation ever” — wrote in an op-ed for USA Today. “Today’s programs are authorized in law, with a thorough system of oversight and checks and balances in place, and a court review not present in the past.”

House Republicans are continuing their support of NSA surveillance that began when George W. Bush’s unlawful programs were first revealed — despite the fact that a majority of Republicans now oppose the program.

The House GOP knows very well how to use any opportunity to bash the president but their restraint on the NSA case, their unwillingness to push for transparency that Congress has continually blocked, reveals that the only pressure they’re actually putting on the president is to continue the programs as is. A small group of senators can raise a stink, but for now House Republicans are unwilling to prioritize individual liberties over the need to act as if we’re in perpetual war.

Or maybe they’re just too busy trying to force women to carry ““medically futile pregnancies” to term.

  • Daniel Lambert

    Dear GOP & Tea-prickers…You can screw 47% of the people 100% of the time, and 99% of the people 47% of the time, but you can not screw 99% of the people 100% of the time.

  • reasonABLE

    Real transparency can only transpire when we shed the left-right paradigm and realize the american people don’t have a single ally in Washington. While you make some valid points here, the idea that this is only a problem on one side of the aisle has to stop for real transparency and the good of the people to prevail.

  • Will P.

    Not sure where the “Farm Bill” in your tagline comes into the article, but I have to ask. Why should they pass a farm bill. Please site where in the Constitution (Including the amendments) does the Congress of the United States even have the power to pass a “Farm Bill?”

    Feel free to site sources.

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