Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers (R-MI) on Sunday said that Americans and Congress need “perspective” when reviewing the recent proposal on curbing National Security Agency surveillance practices and when considering the recent ruling by a federal judge that found that NSA practices are likely unconsitutional.
“Perspective is important,” Rogers said of the court ruling on ABC’s “This Week.” “Yes, this one district judge that doesn’t handle national security cases had a difference of opinion, that is our good system.”
Rogers said that the panel that reviewed NSA spying found no “scandal” within the agency. He said that the report should be carefully reviewed, especially since he found that the panel missed a few points in its investigation.
“I think this is not the holy grail of reports, but I do think it crossed a very important milestone in saying, hey, no scandal, no law-breaking, now let’s just have an honest debate about where we think we ought to go in trying to stop terrorists from blowing up American citizens here in the United States,” he said.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was less critical of the report and hoped that it would lead the federal government to curb the NSA’s spying powers.
“It’s time on to have real reform, not a veneer of reform. You know why? Because we have got to rebuild the American people’s trust in our intelligence committee so we can be safe, so we can meet the threats that are all over the world,” Udall said on ABC. “But we don’t do that by bulk data collection that violates the privacy of Americans, that’s unconstitutional, and has shown to not be effective.”
Udall criticized Rogers’ negative outlook on the report.
“I do find it interesting that Chairman Rogers, whom I respect … when the Presidential panel agrees with his point of view, he says it’s a great panel,” Udall said. “When it doesn’t agree, then he says, well, it’s manned by three law professors, as if those law professors don’t have an understanding of the constitutionality of what we’ve been doing.”