January 5, 2014

As we discussed here, we've got Sen. Rand Paul and his fundraising ploy class-action suit against the NSA, and Sen. Bernie Sanders who attempted to get the NSA to respond to his question about whether they're spying on members of Congress, and Rep. Peter King is none to happy about either one of them.

It seems King believes it is perfectly acceptable for the NSA to be spying on he and his cohorts, because they might be paling around with those al Qaeda leaders. He was screaming about the NY Times being "apologists for terrorists" last week due to their defense of Edward Snowden. King just looks more unhinged every time I see him on television and his appearance on this Sunday's America's News Headquarters on Fox was no exception.

Here's more on that from Digby: Of course spying on congress is no big deal. Why do you ask?:

Peter King further proves his obtuse misunderstanding of the constitution and American democracy.

“I think members of Congress should be treated the same as everyone else,” King said. “If a member of Congress is talking to an Al Qaeda leader in Iraq or Afghanistan, why should that member of Congress be any different from any person on the street?”

Peter King would probably have been in a world of hurt if they'd been monitoring his own very real terrorist supporting activity in the past.

But be that as it may, the problem with this is even more acute than just the clear violation of the constitution by doing any of this stuff without probable cause. It's the idea that the executive branch is using surveillance on the legislative branch which, last I heard, was equal to the executive. It's constitutionally very dicey to do this. In fact, it's a clear cut violation.

And they don't have to actually be doing it to chill the sort of adversarial inquiry that might make for some unpleasantness down at Star Fleet headquarters, do they? All they have to do is leave the question open: every legislator with any brains will know that their conversations, political, partisan or otherwise, might find their way to places they might not want it to end up. It's not as if the NSA hasn't done this before.

The point is that even the possibility that the NSA is spying on another branch of government is cause for alarm. And unfortunately, they are not denying it, which means that the implied threat is very much in effect. Read on...

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