We have been reassured repeatedly that the three branches of government all have exercised extensive and rigorous oversight over the NSA spying program. Obama repeated this claim just last week:
As President, I’ve taken steps to make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people.
Well, those reassurances are almost entirely false. A newly revealed internal audit of the spying program, which details thousands of constitutional violations, was never even shown to the President, Congress, or the FISA court.
The pattern is now clear and it’s getting old. With each new revelation the government comes out with a new story for why things are really just fine, only to have that assertion demolished by the next revelation. It’s time for those in government who want to rebuild the trust of the American people and others all over the world to come clean and take some actual steps to rein in the NSA. And if they don’t, the American people and the public, adversarial courts, must force change upon it.