U.S. Lawmaker Appeals To European Parliament To Reject NSA Abuses


The Federal government doesn’t seem too keen on the idea of limiting its power to spy on American citizens and international neighbors. Perhaps that’s why Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) is looking outside the United States to seek an ally in the fight against unchecked government surveillance — on Monday he asked the European Parliament to help the United States find a balance between liberty and security.

In a prepared address to the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee, Sensenbrenner asked members to “to work pragmatically with the United States to continue balanced efforts to protect our nations.”

The lawmaker, who was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when the Patriot Act was passed, said he is convinced by recent revelations about the extent of National Security Agency spying that it is time to reign in the agency.

The lawmaker said: “I firmly believe the Patriot Act saved lives by strengthening the ability of intelligence agencies to track and stop potential terrorists, but in the past few years, the NSA has weakened, misconstrued and ignored the civil liberty protections we drafted into the law.

“President Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.” After 9-11, with America at risk and poised to enter its most intensive conflict since the Vietnam War, Congress extended the executive branch broader powers to protect the American people. But the NSA abused that trust.

“It ignored restrictions painstakingly crafted by lawmakers and assumed a plenary authority we never imagined. Worse, the NSA has cloaked its operations behind such a thick cloud of secrecy that, even if the NSA promised reforms, we would lack the ability to verify them.”

Sensenbrenner is the author of the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act” — or the USA Freedom Act.

The lawmaker told members of Parliament that his bill would end the NSA’s bulk data collection programs, as well as spying on foreign leaders. NSA spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which President Barack Obama claimed to be unaware of, enraged much of Europe.

“If you’ll forgive an old Republican one partisan quip,” Sensenbrenner said, “there is no better argument for reform than when surveillance abuses occur unbeknownst to the one man authorized to allow them.”

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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  • Warrior

    The “UnPatriot” Act was written with a sunset provision. This dude was “in” on the writing of the law and voted twice to keep on keepin on. Totally disingenuous fraud!

    • Robert Messmer

      And had Obama not interfered it would have sunsetted.

  • J.E. Hay

    In Essence Rep Sessenbrenner Wants To Enlist Europeans To Fix The Problem That He Himself Had An Prominent Role in Creating In Spite Of Whatever Good Intentions Were Entailed In The Passage Of The Infamous U.S.A. Patriot Act That Directly Threatened The Constitution And Moreover Constitutionally Protected Civil Liberties of The American People, As Well As The Road To Hell Being Paved With Good Intentions Instead Of Employing His Oversight Duties Within Domestic Perimeters. Rep Sessenbrenner Should Do What He Was Elected To Do And Not Try To Pawn It Off On To Others Even Though They Are Effected In The Most Slightest Way.

  • Bill

    That sounds like a sales pitch to me

  • brente

    I think an important first step is to repeal the patriot act and disband homeland,after that is done we can start to talk about returning the freedoms to the people guaranteed by the constitution.

    • 1Reddevil

      I agree with you . But Obama wants to strip the American people of more freedoms. To Obama the Constitution does not include him. They use Homeland Security. NSA, IRS, and everything they have to spy on Americans.