Carney Backtracks After Congress Refutes Presidential Claim: Not All Lawmakers Briefed On Spy Programs

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Last week, President Barack Obama attempted to soften the impact of revelations that the National Security Agency is spying on Americans by collecting massive amounts of metadata from private communications companies by claiming that every member of Congress knew it was going on.

“Now, the programs that have been discussed over the last couple days in the press are secret in the sense that they’re classified, but they’re not secret in the sense that when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program,” Obama said.

Members of Congress promptly refuted the President’s claim.

There was Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who said of the NSA spying, “I had no idea.”

And Representative Tim Griffen (R-Ark.) said the President was mistaken via Twitter.

POLITICO, following Obama’s claim, published a piece revealing that several other lawmakers — the list continues to grow — have publicly said they were never briefed about the NSA spying. A list of those lawmakers includes: Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Representative Billy Long (R-La.).

Public announcements from lawmakers that they were not indeed briefed on the spying programs elicited a response from the Obama Administration on Monday: Oh, yeah; many rank-and-file lawmakers were actually not briefed, but they probably could have dug up the classified information if they had really tried to.

Or if you prefer, here’s White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s version of the backtrack:

 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgtoEtjN9fk&w=560&h=315]

And, to save face, all House members will reportedly be briefed on the government’s spy tactics on Tuesday.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • catman

    Little Jay needs to be hung like all his buddies

  • Vicki

    Agreed. Treason is punishable by death and this administration is definitely not supporting the Constitution.

  • don

    Carney is a joke. How can anyone, no matter what their
    political party, listen to him and not shake their head in
    amazement and wonder WTF? He is no more than a
    “pocket mouse” and a poor one at that.

  • manuel

    Carney is getting very good at The Carney Shuffle. Maybe he can get a job at a dance studio when his tour in the White House is over.

    • crash1133

      Maybe the IRS can trade for him. They need cheaper dance instructors.

  • Wellarmed

    I called both my representatives from New Mexico and asked them if they felt it was ok to spy on American Citizens phone calls.

    And then the two step began. It was a dance that I new was occurring even though I do not use skype. No pre-made stock statement for me, but a “I will have to get back to you on that”.

    Seems to me the answer should have taken about as much time to formulate as; is using drones to kill Americans on US soil within constitutional limits?

    If your representatives supported the PATRIOT Act, NDAA, or the Affordable Care Act, then I see no need to bother asking them the questions that I posed to them today as you already know the answer.

    I am not worried that our government may be turning on the American People, rather that it already has turned on the American People.

  • mort_f

    Anybody who has ever worked in the classified arena is well aware that there are SELECT committees in the Congress who are the only legislators privy to both the budget and the nature of those classified programs. It is right and proper that that should be the case. It has been that way for well over 50 years. I sincerely doubt that the majority of our legislators should be considered eligible to serve on those SELECT committees.
    But those on the SELECT committes have a sworn duty to uphold the laws of the Constitution, and should NOT be playing fast and loose. Their duty should extend to initiating both treason and impeachment when others are in violation.

  • mort_f

    Anybody who has ever worked in the classified arena is well aware that there are SELECT committees in the Congress who are the only legislators privy to both the budget and the nature of those classified programs. It is right and proper that that should be the case. It has been that way for well over 50 years. I sincerely doubt that the majority of our legislators should be considered eligible to serve on those SELECT committees.
    But those on the SELECT committes have a sworn duty to uphold the laws of the Constitution, and should NOT be playing fast and loose. Their duty should extend to initiating both treason and impeachment when others are in violation.

    • CatGman

      What makes one eligible to serve on a SELECT committee? An oath to hide information from the rest of the congress? Or maybe they have to be willing to ignore the constitution and lie to the citizens who have elected them. Right and proper??? Please.

      • mort_f

        Consider the process for vetting those in positions requiring security clearance. And the first dictate of security, the NEED to know.
        Depending on the level of security, one will be subjected to an in-depth investigation of one’s personal life, in the extreme case that will extend to even an investigation of family members and acquaintances. Of course, any investigation will be imperfect, and will depend on the competence of the investigators.
        Insofar as vetting elected officials, no such investigation is required in the election process. As far as security is concerned, they get a ‘free pass’. But one should at least have the epectation that those chosen for SELECT committees should be subject to a similar vetting process that those in security sensitive positions are subjected to.
        One can easily enumerate many items where there the public has NO ‘Need to know’. And security considerations demand that the numbers of knowledgeables be limited, including the Congress. The danger, to the Republic, arises when that security umbrella gets etended to affairs that belong in the public purview. The public trust depends on the POTUS and the Legislature clearly drawing that line, and rigidly adhering to it. Sadly that does not seem to be the case today.

      • mort_f

        Consider the process for vetting those in positions requiring security clearance. And the first dictate of security, the NEED to know.
        Depending on the level of security, one will be subjected to an in-depth investigation of one’s personal life, in the extreme case that will extend to even an investigation of family members and acquaintances. Of course, any investigation will be imperfect, and will depend on the competence of the investigators.
        Insofar as vetting elected officials, no such investigation is required in the election process. As far as security is concerned, they get a ‘free pass’. But one should at least have the epectation that those chosen for SELECT committees should be subject to a similar vetting process that those in security sensitive positions are subjected to.
        One can easily enumerate many items where there the public has NO ‘Need to know’. And security considerations demand that the numbers of knowledgeables be limited, including the Congress. The danger, to the Republic, arises when that security umbrella gets etended to affairs that belong in the public purview. The public trust depends on the POTUS and the Legislature clearly drawing that line, and rigidly adhering to it. Sadly that does not seem to be the case today.

        • $28109413

          In-depth investigation of one’s personal life, even family members and friends (Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn, Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright, etc.) YOU mean THOSE FRIENDS???

        • CatGman

          I understand all of that. What I am trying to say is these SELECT committees can all to easily become SECRET committees. Secret, meaning that no one knows about them or that they will be keeping secret the things that WE THE PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO NEED TO KNOW. Corruption in Washington flourish because they can hide what they do from the citizens.

    • S.C.Murf

      Does that apply to obama also? You started the two step in your first sentence. The pres said that ALL members had been briefed when in fact they had not. Once again the lier in chief has struck.

      up the hill
      airborne

      • mort_f

        I chose to not directly answer that question, but read between my lines.
        My personal opinion is that He is unqualified for the lowest category of clearance, ‘For Official Use Only’.

  • Deborah

    What the heck did Carney just say?

  • Lucy and Ricky

    Soooo not all Lawmakers have been briefed but since the cat is out of the bag the remaining Lawmakers will be briefed on Tuesday. What????

  • ridge runner

    Obamee and his crossbred marxist staff only breif USA haters and pedophile worshipping perverts. The bildge coming out everyday, the whoring and thuggery in anything the Democrats touch, should surprise anybody. Just look at the party gathering and get togathers.