Snowden's National Conversation
We Have The Basics Of A Police State -- How Much Farther Should We Go?
By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News
Two Senators Keep Security State Debate In A Narrow Frame
With much of the country aware of the extent of government spying on and lying to American citizens, there is now a limited public discussion of what kind of country we want ours to be. The limits of that discussion are illustrated by recent public utterances of two Democratic Senators, Diane Feinstein of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
For more that two years, Sen. Wyden has been warning that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been operating outside the law for more than seven years. His warnings have been limited and cryptic because he was bound by secrecy law not to tell the truth he knew. That ended when Edward Snowden started sharing truthful information that confirmed everything Sen. Wyden had implied and more.
On July 24, a near-majority of members of the House of Representatives supported an amendment to a military spending bill that was intended to put some limits on the NSA's ability to spy on all Americans all the time. President Obama opposed any such limitation and, working with House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, managed to defeat the amendment by a vote of 217-205. Each party split fairly evenly, with 111 Democrats and 94 Republicans voting for greater limits on NSA spying on Americans.
On One Side, Sen. Wyden Calls For More Transparency and Control