Sensenbrenner Says He Wasn’t Briefed

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

On Bill Bennett’s radio show, Morning in America, this morning, Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner, one of the authors of the Patriot Act described National Security Agency data mining as overreach – “beyond what the Patriot Act intended.”

Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations said: “I’m sure that somewhere in that huge haystack there is the needle of communications to and from foreigners who are of a subject of an authorized terrorist investigation, however there were millions and maybe billions of phone calls that were made between Americans, or between Americans and people oversees, that have nothing to do with terrorism. And the broad sweep of the FISA Court’s order goes well beyond what the Patriot Act intended, and I know because I helped draft Section 215 and it was designed to prevent the NSA from going data mining and that is exactly what they’re doing.”

Sensenbrenner said the Obama administration “never briefed me.” He said: “They really don’t reach out to members of Congress and I have not been briefed on this. I have not been called up there to give my opinion on what happened when the Patriot Act was drafted and passed and if I had been I would have told them that the PRISM program goes far beyond what was intended when the Patriot Act was passed.”