Not only did every member of the GOP leadership vote against the Massie amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill forbidding warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, they also distorted the amendment in their official summary and vote recommendation:
Massie Amdt- “Prohibits funds from being used to fully exploit lawfully collected foreign intelligence information collected under Sec. 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”
The Massie Amendment actually forbid the collection of information on American citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. While it does end the practice of using a US citizen's contacts with a foreign target as a justification for warrantless surveillance of that citizen, it does nothing to stop the lawful collection of information on foreigners suspected of plotting terrorists' acts against the US.
The GOP leadership's summary may be the only piece of information many members and staffers will see on an amendment before voting on it. So the fact that the Massie Amendment received a majority of Republicans votes despite the GOP leadership’s distortions makes this victory even more significant. Even Congress now no longer falls for the hysterical argument that we must trade liberty for phantom promises of security.
Tags: NSA, thomas massie, House GOP leadership