Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr is miffed at Senator Ted Cruz.
During an exchange with opponent Marco Rubio Tuesday night Cruz said a new law he supported increased the number of phones monitored by the government.
“What [Rubio] knows is that the old program covered 20% to 30% of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100%,” Cruz said. “That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism, and he knows that that’s the case.”
Within minutes of Cruz making the remark Burr spokeswoman Becca Glover Watkins tweeted:
Cruz shouldn’t have said that.
— Becca Glover Watkins (@beccaglover) December 16, 2015
On Wednesday Burr engaged in damage control. He said the numbers Cruz mentioned were incorrect.
In other words, the snooping of private telephones in violation of the Fourth Amendment is somewhat less than Cruz asserted, if Mr. Burr can be believed.
Regardless of the real number—and if revelations by Snowden and others are any indication, the surveillance state is far larger than the government admits—the unconstitutional violation of privacy has produced a totalitarian state, as the former highly placed intelligence official with the NSA William Binney has pointed out.