Published On: Tue, Jun 18th, 2013

Democrats, Republicans unite as Dianne Feinstein says No Senate hearing on NSA surveillance anytime soon

While the House of Representatives will hold a rare open intelligence hearing specifically devoted to the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs of data-mining phone records and Internet use, a similar hearing in the Senate sounds increasingly unlikely.

Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said her committee is waiting on more information from the NSA before proceeding to open hearings.

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Feinstein told reporters Monday night that she won’t call an opening briefing until “probably when we get a little further along the facts and know what can be said.” Her ranking member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) cast further doubt on a quick turnaround, through he said would discuss the issue with Feinstein.

“We so rarely have open hearings,” Chambliss said. “Right now I don’t see it.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) will convene an open hearing Tuesday devoted to how the NSA programs “protect Americans, and why disclosure aids our adversaries.”

Appearing before Rogers’s committee will be NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce, Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Robert Litt, the general counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Those same officials have spent much of the past two weeks briefing members of Congress behind closed doors in classified briefings.

Feinstein said the only new piece of information her committee received over the weekend was notification from the administration that the database of millions of phone numbers was queried 300 times in all of 2012.

“That’s all. That’s not content. That’s querying it, searching it for numbers. That’s a very small number of times,” Feinstein said. “I interpret that as a very small number. I also interpret it as a realistic number: Would you would think, knowing kind of what’s out there.”



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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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