In late July, the Amash Amendment to end the NSA’s telephone surveillance scheme barely failed, just 205-217, in a vote which saw a mass exodus of rank-and-file Congressmen on both sides away from the party leadership, which on both sides was supportive of keeping the plan in place.
Repeated claims that the NSA is respecting Americans’ privacy played a big role in convincing some of those voters to “trust” the administration, but after the Washington Post’s revelation that there are thousands of such violations annually has changed things more than a little.
Some in Congress are saying that knowledge would’ve swung the vote, and Rep. Justin Amash (R – MI) says he is planning to take another shot in the near future, pushing a similar amendment at the next opportunity.
President Obama still doesn’t want to admit it, but the reality is that he’s losing the NSA battle, and every time one of his lies gets found out by another leak, it’s going to make it harder and harder for Congressmen facing reelection next summer to ignore their constituencies.
“Reform” is no longer a matter of rebranding the program in a more palatable way, and kicking and screaming from the administration aside, change is eventually coming.