Andrew P. Napolitano
January 9, 2014
Happy New Year. Just when you thought the NSA spying scandal couldn’t get any worse, it has.
Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wrote to Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Administration (NSA), and asked plainly whether the NSA has been or is now spying on members of Congress or other public officials. The senator’s letter was no doubt prompted by the revelations of Edward Snowden to the effect that the federal government’s lust for personal private data about all Americans and many foreigners knows no bounds, and its respect for the constitutionally protected and statutorily enforced right to privacy is nonexistent.
The senator’s benign and neutral letter came on the heels of a suggestion by his colleague Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to the effect that Alexander’s boss, Gen. James Clapper, director of national intelligence, perjured himself before a Senate subcommittee when he testified that the NSA is not gathering massive amounts of data from tens or hundreds of millions of Americans. Alexander himself is also on the hook for having testified in a highly misleading manner to a House committee when he was asked whether the NSA has the ability to read emails and listen to phone calls and he stated: “No, we don’t have that authority.”