Peter Wallsten reports:
The Obama administration points to checks and balances from Congress as a key rationale for supporting bulk collection of Americans’ telephone communications data, but several lawmakers responsible for overseeing the program in recent years say that they felt limited in their ability to challenge its scope and legality.
Read more on Washington Post.
There’s a lot of fingerpointing going on here between the intel community and Congress as to whether Congress was given sufficient information and an opportunity to really debate concerns. Some of the concerns raised by members of Congress appear to be systemic and it would be useful for Congress to debate how to conduct meaningful oversight when details or materials are classified. One needs only to consider that some members of Congress, like Senator Wyden, were trying to get a debate about massive collection programs and were seemingly stymied at every turn. That shouldn’t be.