POSTED: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 5:13pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 8:26am
There has been a lot of controversy over the various government intelligence gathering programs, and who actually knew about them.
Yesterday, the entire US House of Representatives was briefed on the NSA activities and some still say they are in the dark.
The various US government programs to gather intelligence in the war on terror, have been around for years.
The Patriot Act of 2001 expanded the definition of terrorism, and the government’s ability to gather information ostensibly to stop it.
From the beginning, the Act had critics worried about privacy, but it passed overwhelmingly, in fact, the Senate voted 99-1 to pass it.
Congressman Louie Gohmert says, “That gave such expansive powers to the President. It authorized him to go after anybody he thought had been helping terrorists or might in the future. I mean, it was just so expansive.”
Now, the revelations of government contract employee Edward Snowden have revealed the extent of the surveillance of phone and internet records.
Many in Congress in both parties, say they knew about the programs, but some say, there wasn’t enough oversight.
“So we were told the kind of meta-data that they have been mining,” Gohmert says, “emails and phone calls, was not being done, that was what I understood. Now, there may have been some people on the intelligence committee, sayi8ng yeah, we knew some of this was going on. Well, I would tell them the water started out lukewarm but now it’s boiling and you don’t realize it. You better hop out of that pot before your goose is cooked.”