Former Vice President Al Gore must have some rose-colored glasses the size of Jupiter if he really believes what he told an audience in Montreal a few days ago. He said that he expects Congress to rein in the surveillance programs of the NSA and other executive agencies.
Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore predicted Tuesday that lawmakers in his country would rein in intelligence agencies in the wake of leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed massive secret government surveillance programs.
While Gore said he favoured surveillance to ensure security, he described the efforts made public by the former Central Intelligence Agency employee as “outrageous” and “completely unacceptable.”…
Gore said the revelations are disturbing to say the least.
“He has revealed evidence of what appears to be crimes against the Constitution of the United States,” he said.
Gore said governments throughout history have understandably conducted surveillance to protect their security but added that efforts have gone to “absurd” lengths and are counter-productive.
“When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it’s not always wise to pile more hay on the haystack,” he said quoting a scholar on the CIA.
The former senator said while he appreciated the work of intelligence services, he doubted the excesses would be allowed to continue and noted some states are already passing laws or putting referendum questions to their constituents.“I think they will have to pull this back,” Gore told a brief question period at McGill University where he delivered the Beaverbrook Annual Lecture. “I think you will see a reining in.”
Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath. The Republicans certainly aren’t going to do it and they control the House. The Democratic leadership in both chambers — Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein — are as deep in the tank for a virtually unlimited executive branch as the Republicans. Obama has been nothing short of a disaster in this area. The absolute best we could hope for is some token bill with meaningless new forms of “oversight” (we can see how well that worked; the Senate put together a massive report on torture by the Pentagon and the CIA and refuses to release it). They aren’t about to actually do something to rein in the NSA, CIA or FBI. Not a chance.