Tuesday, August 13, 2013
A leader of the US congressional insurrection against the National Security Agency’s bulk surveillance programs has accused his colleagues of withholding a key document from the House of Representatives before a critical surveillance vote.
Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican whose effort to defund the NSA’s mass phone-records collection exposed deep congressional discomfort with domestic spying, said the House intelligence committee never allowed legislators outside the panel to see a 2011 document that described the surveillance in vague terms.
The document, a classified summary of the bulk phone records collection effort justified under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was declassified by the Obama administration in late July.
The Justice Department and intelligence agencies prepared it for Congress before a 2011 vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act, and left it for the intelligence committees in Congress to make the document available to their colleagues.
“It is not acceptable for the intelligence committee, or any other committee, to withhold critically important information pertaining to a program prior to the vote,” Amash told the Guardian.
Full article: http://www.theguardi … sa-vote-justin-amash