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