Patrick Center July 25, 2013 | WGVU “The government collects the phone records without suspicion of every single American in the United States.”
Republican Representative Justin Amash argues this action is a clear violation of the Constitution.“
My amendment makes a simple but important change. It limits the governments collection of those records that pertain to a person who is the subject of an investigation.
”The debate turned into a Michigan affair with Lansing Republican, Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of Select Intelligence taking issue with the “simple change” Mr. Amash was seeking.
“Fifty-four times this, and the other program, stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe saving real lives. This isn’t a game. This is real. This will have a real consequence.”
Rogers made the claim 14 federal judges have deemed the underpinnings of the NSA's collection of phone numbers and the place and time of those calls as Constitutional and a program that would have prevented the 9-11 terror attacks.
“Passing this amendment takes us back to September 10th. And afterward we said, ‘Wow, there is a seam, a gap!’ Somebody leading up to the September 11th attacks, a terrorist overseas called a terrorist living amongst us in the United States, and we missed it because we didn’t have this capability.”
Democrat John Conyers of Detroit, a co-sponsor of the Amash Amendment, explained a yes vote wouldn’t stop U.S. intel from doing its job.
“All this amendment is intended to do is to curtail the ongoing dragnet collection and storage of the personal records of innocent Americans. It does not defund the NSA and it would continue to allow them to conduct full-fledged surveillance as long as it relates to an actual investigation.”
In the end, homeland security trumped civil liberties…but just barely.
“The yeas are 205 and the nays are 217. The amendment is not adopted.”
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