Tags: NSA/Surveillance | War on Terrorism | terror | privacy | House | legislation

Terror Task Force Head: House Erred on Terror Bill

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 07:04 AM

By Elliot Jager

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives constrained the intelligence community too much, North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger wrote in a commentary in The Wall Street Journal.

Pittenger, chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, said his colleagues went "much too far in protecting privacy" when they passed the Massie-Lofgren amendment.

He urged them to reconsider their vote when the bill is reconciled with a Senate version.
Sponsors said the amendment protects citizens against "backdoor" warrantless surveillance. The measure, part of the defense appropriations bill passed on June 20, was backed by a range of civil liberties groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Pittenger counters: "Now is not the time for the U.S. to restrict its ability to monitor terrorist threats" that could uncover whether "foreign-based terrorists" are "plotting an attack with someone based inside the U.S."

The North Carolina Republican said extremists carrying American or European passports pose a particular danger and that ISIS, which has seized portions of Iraq and Syria, has threatened terror attacks against the U.S. homeland.

A majority of the House Intelligence Committee as well as Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, opposed the Massie-Lofgren amendment, Pittenger wrote.

There are sufficient civil liberties protections in place, including the recently passed USA Freedom Act, to provide supervision of the intelligence community by Congress, the administration, and the courts. "Existing court-approved procedures require intelligence agencies to minimize the collection of incidental U.S. communications collected while targeting a foreigner," Pittenger wrote.

The Massie-Lofgren amendment is a throwback to pre-9/11 days when intelligence agencies had been kept from monitoring calls between a 9/11 hijacker in San Diego and an al-Qaida safe house in Yemen, he argued.

"This fall, when the House and Senate reconcile their separate appropriations bills, I urge Congress to remove the Massie-Lofgren amendment from the final legislation," Pittenger wrote.

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

AG Nominee Gets 2 GOP Endorsements After Witnesses Attack DOJ

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 23:33 PM

Two Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Loretta Lynch's nomination as attorney general, but not befor . . .

US-Led Airstrikes Slam ISIS Targets in Syria and Iraq

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 22:20 PM

The United States and coalition partners launched six airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria and 12 mo . . .

Rep. Peter King: 9/11 Lesson Is Ex-Gitmo Detainees Threat to US

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 21:53 PM

Rep. Peter King says President Barack Obama should remember the lessons of 9/11 and stop releasing detainees from the mi . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved