The co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission – Lee Hamilton and Thomas Keane – slammed the NSA last month, saying that spying was out of control.
As the Herald Times reported Saturday, Hamilton has now become more outspoken:
Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., who is now the director of the Center on Congress at IU, used the sharpest language in criticizing the institution where he had worked for three decades.
“The amount of misinformation about government surveillance programs is simply astounding and appalling,” Hamilton said, going on to say he is waiting for Attorney General Eric Holder to indict U.S. Director of Intelligence James Clapper on charges of perjury for saying his agencies were not spying on Americans, which was later debunked by Snowden’s leaks about programs that mine data from companies such as Verizon.
Hamilton was pronounced in his condemnation of the NSA and the legislators who have enabled the secret courts that allow spy programs to operate with inadequate oversight, repeatedly emphasizing activity that he considered “OUT-rageous,” describing the amount of information that is in the hands of the NSA as “mind-boggling.” It would “knock your socks off,” he said.
[Hamilton] blamed legislators for creating the laws that constrain their ability to tell the American public what U.S. spy agencies are up to.
But, on the whole, [Hamilton] joined the other panelists in painting a grim outlook for privacy and people’s perspectives on it. What has been completely missing, he said, is “public outrage” over Snowden’s leaks.
“Welcome to the world of mega data. You are going to be living with it for the rest of your life,” Hamilton said. “What concerns me is the potential for abuse. Once you give government power, government does not relinquish that power. When you look at these programs, you need to think of what they do now, but you also have to think of what they will become in perpetuity.”