Sen. Lindsey Graham would propose censoring Americans’ “snail” mail if he thought it would help protect national security, the South Carolina Republican said Tuesday. But for now, he says he doesn’t think it’s necessary.
Faced with questions about the disclosure that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone and email records of citizens, Graham pointed to a World War II-era program in which the federal government censored mail. He said it was appropriate at the time and that he would support reinstating the program if it aided security efforts.
“In World War II, the mentality of the public was that our whole way of life was at risk, we’re all in. We censored the mail. When you wrote a letter overseas, it got censored. When a letter was written back from the battlefield to home, they looked at what was in the letter to make sure they were not tipping off the enemy,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it, but I don’t think it is.”
The Guardian newspaper revealed last week details of a government surveillance program enacted in response to terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that secretly collects digital communication data from U.S. citizens.
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