Don't Underestimate Risks of Government Spying

tags: Edward Snowden, NSA



Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of Jimmy Carter and Governing America.

(CNN) -- As the story about the National Security Agency surveillance continued to unfold last week, some of President Obama's supporters, as well as some of his Republican critics, were quick to jump to his defense.

Chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers warned that the allegations about the NSA were wrong. "They are seeing three or four pieces of a thousand-piece puzzle and trying to come to a conclusion."

Speaking before a congressional committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the monitoring of calls by 35 world leaders was just about spying, something that every country did and so there was nothing to be worked up about. "Some of this reminds me of the classic movie 'Casablanca': 'My God, there's gambling going on here,'" Clapper said.

In a period of crippling partisan warfare that continually brings Washington to a standstill, the leadership of both parties seem to have easily reached bipartisan agreement that the existing national security programs should be left alone....




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