Former judge Andrew Napolitano, now an analyst for Fox News, writes about the current controversy over domestic surveillance:
After we learned that the feds are spying on nearly all Americans, that they possess our texts and emails and have access to our phone conversations, Gen. Keith Alexander, who runs the NSA, was asked under oath whether his spies have the ability to read emails and listen to telephone calls. He answered, “No, we don’t have that authority.” Since the questioner — FBI agent turned Congressman Mike Rogers — was in cahoots with the general in keeping Americans in the dark about unconstitutional search warrants, there was no follow-up question. In a serious public interrogation, a committee chair interested in the truth would have directed the general to answer the question that was asked.
Since that deft and misleading act, former NSA staffers have told Fox News that the feds can read any email and listen to any phone call, and Alexander and Rogers know that. So Alexander’s “no,” just like his boss’s “no,” was a lie at worst and seriously misleading at best.
This is not an academic argument. The oath to tell the truth — “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” — also makes those who intentionally mislead Congress subject to prosecution for perjury.
Snowden spoke the truth. Knowing what would likely befall him for his truthful revelations and making them nevertheless was an act of heroism and patriotism. Thomas Paine once reminded the Framers that the highest duty of a patriot is to protect his countrymen from their government. We need patriots to do that now more than ever.
Read more on Reason.
As much as I do hold Congress responsible for the erosion and decimation of our privacy rights, it’s important to remember that some of this was done under Executive Orders under the President’s Article II powers.