Justin Amash led a near-revolution on the floor of the House last week by bringing up an amendment to vote on defunding one of NSA’s programs to spy on the American people. It would have passed if only seven more Representatives had voted in favor of it. Boehner, who always tries to abstain from votes as Speaker of the House, actually voted against the amendment. That tells us how close the House was to joining Amash’s rebellion—Boehner wasn’t sure that he had secured enough votes to kill it so that he could safely refrain from adding his own negative vote.
So we can now ask ourselves, what would have been the outcome of the vote if some members of the House of Representatives had not refrained from lying to other members.
Consider the New American’s story, “Who Lied? Mike Rogers, The NSA, and XKeyscore.”
“Rogers, a liberal Michigan Republican (51 percent cumulative Freedom Index score, one of the lowest scores among Republicans), claimed in debate on the Amash amendment, which would have forbidden the NSA from spending any of its funding on the bulk collection of Americans’ electronic messages, July 24: ‘We should have time and education on what actually happens in the particular program of which we speak. And I’ll pledge each and every one of you today, and give you my word, that this fall, when we do the Intel authorization bill, we will work to find additional privacy protections with this program, that has no emails, no phone calls, no names and no addresses.’… False denials on the House floor that the NSA was collecting the American people’s e-mails, such as Rogers’, may have swayed enough votes to ensure the amendment’s defeat. The following weekend, Rogers — a leading Republican candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan being vacated by Democrat Carl Levin — repeated the claim on CBS’ Face the Nation July 28: ‘There are no recordings of phone calls. There are no dossiers. They do not record your e-mails. None of that was happening, none of it — I mean, zero.’”
But XKeyscore, revealed on July 31, showed that wasn’t true. Emails were and are indeed being collected and stored.
“A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its ‘widest-reaching’ system for developing intelligence from the internet.”
Whether Rogers was lying, or gullibly passing on a lie he was told, the people who nominally rule the nation by making laws were knowingly (someone knew!) given false information on which to base a decision.
What would have happened if XKeyscore had been revealed the week before? We can’t say we know but it is at least possible the Amash amendment might have been passed.
Whether you agree with NSA spying or not, how can anyone claim that we have elected leaders when those leaders, gathered in lawful assembly to deliberate laws, can be fed misinformation?
If you don’t realize we are threatened (if not already conquered) by an unelected shadow government, then you are not paying attention.