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Aug-11-2013 22:17printcomments

Langevin Needs to Defend His Support of NSA Spy Program

The Congressman says about the massive spying: "There is nothing nefarious going on here", but his assessment is based on lies of government officials.

Congressman Jim Langevin
Congressman Jim Langevin

(JAMESTOWN, RI) - In a June interview with the New York Times, Congressman Jim Langevin said of the massive NSA spy program:

"Those who have been fully briefed are comfortable with the capabilities used and the due diligence exercised in making sure the agency responsible for carrying out and using the tools has been doing so within the confines of the law..."

You wouldn't know it by his absolute silence, but Congressman Langevin is a member of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, however despite all that has been revealed about spying on citizens, the Congressman has been virtually silent, and has yet to publically face his district to explain and defend his avid support of the NSA spy program. We now know that everything we do on the internet is monitored; all e-mails, letters, phone calls, etc., are available to potentially thousands in the NSA. James Clapper, now the head of the FBI, testified before Congress and was asked point blank; "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans"?, he answered "No, sir." Because of Mr. Snowden, we know Mr. Clapper lied to Congress and to the people of this country. It is amazing that the Congressman has been so silent on the spying issue, but silence and "secrecy" have become the hallmark of this government.

The Congressman on his website says about the massive spying: "There is nothing nefarious going on here", but his assessment is based on lies of government officials.

Isn't it time Mr. Langevin appear in a public unscripted forum, where questions from Rhode Islanders are not pre screened, and do not have to be submitted in advance? Mr. Langevin was quick to call Mr. Snowden a traitor, but now that people are finding out from Mr. Snowden's leaks just how vast the state spying on citizens is. Polls now indicate the public does not view Snowden as traitor, but as a whistleblower. It is my personal view that anyone who supports massive spying on the US public is the traitor, not the one who reveals the nature of the spy program, and that Mr. Clapper should be in jail as you or I would, if we lied to Congress.

My current questions of the Congressman in an uncensored forum would be: As a member of the Intelligence Committee, has he been "briefed"?

If so forget the meeting, because any member of Congress who is briefed is sworn to secrecy and cannot discuss anything of the briefing. Consequently most members of Congress do not wish to be briefed, for if they "slip" they might become wanted like Mr. Snowden.

If the Congressman has not been briefed, and I suspect he has not, how does he know: "There is nothing nefarious going on here"? Another question of the Congressman would be: How do you reconcile your oath to defend the constitution with the complete disregard for individual rights as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? If the NSA spying program and its 1984 world is so great, why doesn't Mr. Langevin appear in public and attempt to "sell" it to the public?

Joseph Clifford


Salem-News.com Writer Joe Clifford, lives in historic Jamestown, Rhode Island, and has contributed a number of articles relating to foreign policy to newspapers in the Rhode Island area for years.

He graduated from Providence College where he earned an undergraduate and graduate degree. After a lengthy career as a high school teacher he turned to the study of US foreign policy, and then to writing, as a means of expressing an alternative perspective. His reading and research on foreign policy is broad and extensive, especially as the policy relates to the Middle East. His interest in foreign policy was inspired by the American misadventure in Vietnam. You can write to Joe at this address: jc21131@gmail.com



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Ralph E. Stone August 13, 2013 6:29 am (Pacific time)

Ah, but despite all the sturm and drang, Congress voted to continue the NSA surveillance program.

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