NSA: Illegal to Check if We Spied on Congress

Alexander: Looking Up Past Violations Would Violate Privacy

The NSA refused to deny whether or not they spied on members of Congress, but says it would’ve been illegal if they had. They’re not going to check either, claiming that even checking if they did so would be illegal.

That’s the latest in a long line of efforts by the NSA not to answer any questions about its past abuses, per a letter from NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander, who was responded to the non-answer he gave to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I – VT) before.

Incredible as it seems, Alexander’s argument is that searching their database for past instances of spying on Sen. Sanders would be tantamount to spying itself, and therefore a violation of his privacy.

Sanders was unsatisfied with the excuse, saying NSA surveillance of political rivals could be a huge potential area of abuse. Nothing the NSA has said appears to deny that fact, or even deny that it’s been done. Rather they just argue that it’s legally impossible to check.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.