John McCain defends NSA and FISA programs, evokes 9/11 and says terrorism is ‘getting worse’
Arizona Senator and former GOP Presidential candidate John McCain said Sunday the threat of terrorism in the United States “is getting worse,” and this validates the government’s controversial monitoring of all telephone calls and emails placed in the country.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” McCain responded to host Candy Crowley asking if McCain had a problem with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) program, he answered, “No, not really.”
“I think we have to understand this issue in the context of what also has been going on,” McCain said. “I believe that the FISA Court system is an appropriate way of reviewing some of these policies. If this was Sept. 12, 2001, we might not be having the argument that we are having today.”
McCain continued to dismiss any concerns over privacy, saying it’s a “balancing act” and then targeted his fellows Senators.
“The Republican and Democrat chairs, and … members of the Intelligence Committee have been very well briefed on these programs,” McCain said. “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation. Now, if members of Congress did not know what they were voting on, then I think that that’s their responsibility a lot more than it is the government’s.”
“I don’t think the 535 members of Congress should be briefed on every program that our government is engaged in. That’s why we have intelligence committees,” McCain said, adding he would be open to involving the rest of Congress on some additional discussions of intelligence gathering.
“But we ought to be careful that we don’t discuss practices that we employ that would help the enemy evade our detection and apprehension,” he said.