McCain: Surveillance Process ‘Appropriate’

by Robert Costa

Senator John McCain of Arizona pushed back today against the critics of the federal government’s surveillance programs. “No, not really,” McCain said, when asked whether he was bothered by the latest news reports. Instead, he called the legal process behind the programs “appropriate.”

“To somehow think that because we are having phone calls recorded, as far as their length and who they were talking to, I don’t think that that is necessarily wrong, if, [should] they want to go further, they have to go to this [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] court,” he said. “I believe that the FISA court system is an appropriate way of reviewing these policies.”

“The Republican and Democrat chairs, and members of the Intelligence Committee have been very well briefed on these programs,” he added. “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation. Now, if members of Congress did not know what they were voting on, then I think that that’s their responsibility a lot more than it is the government’s.”

McCain’s comments were made on CNN’s State of the Union.

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