December 4, 2013
Two Republican congressmen defend US spying abroad
Two Republican congressmen defended Washington's surveillance programs abroad in reaction to protests from allies, after the wide scope of the eavesdropping was revealed this year by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, said much of the public information on those efforts, including allegations that the US National Security Agency had spied on millions of French citizens, was misguided.
"They are seeing three or four pieces of a thousand-piece puzzle and trying to come to a conclusion," he said on CNN's "State of the Nation" program.
The media was given one slide, which included the word "France" on it, Rogers said, which "started a huge amount of discussion about Americans collecting phone calls in France with French citizens."
"That is 100 percent wrong," he said. The slide referred to a counter-terrorism program that had nothing to do with French citizens, he said.
Instead, Rogers said, European authorities don't have enough oversight of their intelligence services. He suggested that the new revelations were not surprises to European intelligence agencies, but only to the governments for which they work.
Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," said: "The president should stop apologizing, stop being defensive.
"The reality is the NSA has saved thousands of lives, not just in the United States but also in France and Germany and throughout Europe. The French are some ones to talk; the fact is, they've carried out spying operations against the United States, both the government and industry. As far as Germany, that's where the Hamburg plot began, which led to 9/11. They've had dealings with Iran and Iraq, North Korea ..."