Tags: John McCain | NSA/Surveillance | John McCain | NSA | surveillance | ISIS

John McCain: NSA Phone Surveillance Program Is Necessary

Image: John McCain: NSA Phone Surveillance Program Is Necessary
(Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:35 PM

Sen. John McCain said Thursday he is worried about a court's ruling Thursday against the National Security Agency's phone records collection program, as he believes the United States needs to have the ability to monitor communications.

"It is clear that 9/11 could have been prevented if we had known about the communications," the Arizona Republican, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Fox News. "We have to have that capability."

Earlier in the day, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that the bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the government exceeds what Congress has allowed.

The panel permitted the National Security Agency program to continue temporarily as it exists, and urged Congress to better define where the boundaries exist.

McCain said it's important to preserve privacy and not overstep, and "from time to time the government has done that," but still there should be a balance.

"We have to understand this threat, and people seem to have forgotten 9/11," the senator said. "People don't understand there are thousands of young people all over the world who are motivated by this radical brand of Islam, which is our enemy."

McCain pointed out that the Islamic State (ISIS) is recruiting people through the Internet.

"It is clear as long as ISIS continues to be perceived as proceeding, they are going to be attracting young men ... who want to go over and fight," said McCain.

"Throughout Europe, they have had hundreds of and thousands fighting for them. In the fighting in Iraq, the best fighters for ISIS were foreigners. So look, it is a huge challenge because of the penetration and ability of social media to bring and motivate young people to commit acts of terror and/or flock to Syria or Iraq to fight. Then they come back [here]."

McCain also spoke about a government waste report he has presented with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, that reveals some of the largest spending problems, including $15,000 for the EPA to study emissions from backyard barbecues; $30,000 for Vermont puppet shows, and more. 

But those pale to the billions that are wasted in the Pentagon, said McCain, where overspending is "our highest priority to eliminate."

At the Pentagon, "we have duplicated staff, and we have staffs that are four and five times larger than they were during the Vietnam War," said McCain. "We have to get rid of the duplicate ways in the Pentagon and get rid of sequestration because it is destroying our ability to fund the nation."

Watch the video here.

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Sen. John McCain said Thursday he is worried about a court's ruling Thursday against the National Security Agency's phone records collection program, as he believes the United States needs to have the ability to monitor communications.
John McCain, NSA, surveillance, ISIS
438
2015-35-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:35 PM
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