GOP lawmaker: NSA spying in U.S. could have prevented 9/11

Members of Congress remain divided on whether to rein in the National Security Agency’s broad collection of phone records, with one Democrat saying the Founding Fathers would be “astounded” by the snooping program, while an outspoken New Yorker insisted that the program is fine and could have prevented the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Still, lawmakers in both parties said Sunday that they are reluctant to grant amnesty to Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who stole a trove of classified documents before fleeing the country. His leaks to the press about the programs, including the vast collection of call data, or “metadata” without actual conversations, set off a domestic debate about privacy and an international firestorm with diplomatic consequences for the United States.

Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican, called Mr. Snowden a “defector and a traitor,” and made no apologies for the NSA’s programs. He said the agency has not abused its power and suggested that the Sept. 11 attacks could have been thwarted if the phone data collection program were in place at the time.

“I live in New York,” the Republican told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I lost some 150 friends, neighbors and constituents on Sept. 11. If the NSA had had this metadata in 2001, that attack probably would not have happened.”

Lawmakers will face renewed debate about the extent of government snooping, and whether it violates Americans’ constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure, when they return to Washington from their holiday recess.

9 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • wmagg says:

    Spying on American citizens would never have prevented 9/11
    As far back as the Clinton administration the government knew this was going to happen, they knew when they knew who and they knew how, the only thing they did not know was where. Every muslum involved was here illegally, Every one of them was being watched and every one of them violated numerous laws in this nation prior to 9/11 yet none were challenged and none were arrested.
    Enforcing immigration law would have prevented 9/11, enforcing the laws already on the books would have prevented 9/11, enforcing airline security rules regardless of religion would have prevented 9/11. Remember none of the people who did this were American citizens, so how would violating the rights and freedoms of American citizens prevent the acts of terrorists in this country illegally. So this guy, as with most in Washington, is just full of it.and out of touch with reality.

  • modernminuteman says:

    Spoken like a real big government Moron!

  • Robert says:

    Right…. The NSA dates back to Harry Truman. Bush didn’t create the NSA. He added the DHS to it. The NSA is a dismal failure sucking more than just data. Go back and review the Boston Bombers case. Even calls from Russian Intelligence went unnoticed. So just who is the NSA really watching? Political enemies of President Obama?

  • James says:

    This is just plain bull. The government knew that flying planes into a building was a possibility for years before it happens. Hell it was even mentioned on new programs as a possibility. They did nothing to prevent it.

  • CTH says:

    Peter King lies when he calls himself a republican and lying makes him an ally of obutthead. That NSA spying on american citizens could have prevented 9/11 is rank speculation and more probably an outright lie.

    1. floramae says:

      I certainly agree with you, not sure what has happened to that man as of late, it’s like he has done a complete about face, It’s like he has lost his mind,

      1. modernminuteman says:

        I agree. He used to be one of the few who was doing something about the Islamic infiltration in our country but this i am afraid shows his true colors.

  • WiSe GuY says:

    Then, why didn’t it prevent Benghazi?

  • mariowen says:

    The republican rep. King is what NY is all about – and if he calls Snowden a “defector and traitor” (who is the one who blew the whistle on NSA, which is why the government doesn’t like him and is attacking him) then King makes himself out to be just another liberal, progressive Communist who wants the government to hold American citizens hostage so they can lord it over them. This is why I am leaving the Republican party. They no longer have an ounce of conservative left in them. They are who the Democrats really do want to see in office because they are the wolves in sheep’s clothing that kiss up to the liberals of the country – they ARE the liberals of the country.

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