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Roberts suggests National Security Agency helped avert attack

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Sen. Pat Roberts appeared on CNN's ["Late Edition"][1] using reports of a foiled terrorist attack after 9/11 as evidence that National Security Agency surveillance efforts - criticized by some as civil liberties violations - are needed and successful.Some highlights:BLITZER: A report that there were cyanide gas attacks planned for the New York subway system that were inexplicably called off. What can you tell our viewers about this?SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R), KANSAS: Well, not very much, except to say the Intelligence Committee is briefed on these kinds of threats. I would simply say that we've had a briefing.It points up, once again, the value of the terrorist surveillance program, the NSA program that's been in the news so much. We are able to detect and deter and stop such attacks. And we were very fortunate that that did not happen.BLITZER: But can you confirm that there was such a plot in the works?ROBERTS: I can't either confirm or deny, but I can just simply repeat that we are briefed on these kind of threats. And, as I say again, I'm very happy we have the capability to do what we do to stop these attacks. And that goes back to the statement you've heard a lot that, you know, thank goodness we've not had an attack of that nature since 9/11. But that's not by accident._Roberts took another opportunity, later in the program, to promote the NSA, after telling Blitzer that 31 "collaborating terrorist organizations" and terrorist "sleeper cells" in the United States would see an Iraq pullout as a sign of weakness._BLITZER: Let me just pick up on one point. Are you saying that there are al Qaida or al Qaida-related sleeper cells in the United States right now?__ROBERTS: Well, let's just say the NSA program that we have that is monitoring the calls coming from a terrorist camp from al Qaida to the United States, they're not calling the United States simply to be calling the United States. And I'll just leave it at that._Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(AP) GOP Contenders Court Activists in Iowa:][2] Four Republicans considering running for president in 2008 courted activists Saturday and predicted GOP success in the November elections despite the party's sagging support in polls. ... Also at the Iowa Republican convention, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback said, "The Democrats want this election to be a referendum election. But the best thing we can do for the Iowa Republican Party is show that this is not a referendum. It's a choice." ... Brownback, a favorite of those social conservatives, touched on issues such as restricting abortion to taking a tough stand on the war in Iraq. Republicans should be afraid of backing the war, the senator said, despite polls showing dwindling support. "I think we should talk about the war," said Brownback. "I think it's time to have another debate, another national debate about the war." Correction, at 10:40 a.m.: This from Sen. Brownback's office: _Although the Associated Press self-corrected the story within 8 minutes, several outlets ran the original version or paraphrased the incorrect version. The first version stated, "Republicans should be afraid of backing the war, the senator said:," while the correct and corrected version said, "Republicans should not be afraid of backing the war, the senator said..." To clarify the story, Brownback said, "I have consistently supported the global war on terror. I encourage all Americans to support the troops and to support efforts to defeat the terrorists abroad before they can attack us at home again. This is a war we must win."[(LA Times) Presidential Ambitions Distract Senate:][3] Likely GOP contenders have carved out different niches in Congress' immigration debate, foiling leaders' hopes of closing ranks on the issue. Two potential candidates, McCain and Brownback, have championed a broad immigration bill that the majority of Senate Republicans oppose because it would provide a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. That makes it harder for Congress to pass the simpler immigration bill favored by most Republicans, one that would only crack down on illegal immigrants by improving border security and law enforcement.(DailyPress.com) Casual convention of presidential prospects Other potential presidential candidates did not get - or did not request - a formal speaking slot. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, for instance, could be found milling around the convention hall talking informally with activists, although he said he held his own casual reception Friday evening. "It's competitive," Brownback said of the coveted speaking time here. "All national politics flows through Iowa. You want as many speaking engagements as you can get."[(AP)Brownback seeking medal of honor for GI Bill author:][4] Senator Sam Brownback said he is seeking recognition for the late Topeka man who crafted the GI Bill. The bill enabled World War II veterans to attend college, provided job training for others and started a housing boom. Harry Colmery came up with the concept in late 1943 after brainstorming with members of an American Legion committee about how to help the returning soldiers. Updated versions of the bill continue to help soldiers returning from war in Afghanistan and Iraq.Dennis Moore links[(Washington Post) House vote to back war puts Dems on defensive:][5] The House on Friday voted 256-153 to support the military mission in Iraq after two days of passionate and partisan debate in which Republicans tried to recast an unpopular conflict as part of a broader war on terrorism and totalitarianism. ... Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., who voted for the resolution, said he opposed setting a public timetable for withdrawal but that he urged the administration to begin private discussions on a time frame. "The president is going to get the message that the course is not fine from the American people," Moore said.[(CQPolitics.com) KS 3: Democrat's Unusual Support Stems From Centrist Efforts:][6] It is highly unusual for a Democrat to be favored for the House in the Republican stronghold of Kansas, but Rep. Dennis Moore has an unusual success story. ... The close of this year's candidate filing period in Kansas last Monday confirmed once again that Moore may never coast unchallenged in the 3rd: Four candidates filed for the Aug. 1 Republican primary. Local observers view state Sen. Scott Schwab and businessman Chuck Ahner, who also is a West Point graduate, as the leading contenders for the GOP nomination in a field that also includes former construction worker Paul Showen and businessman Thomas Scherer. But even Schwab and Ahner have not made substantial progress in establishing themselves as serious threats to Moore. Nor is it clear that the Republicans, whoever their nominee, will be able to mend a deep rift between the conservative and more moderate wings of their party, which has undermined each of their efforts to defeat Moore.Todd Tiahrt links[(Reflector.com) Amtrak survival:][7] Voting 266 for and 158 against, the House on June 13 increased the fiscal 2007 Amtrak budget in HR 5576 (above) from $900 million to $1.14 billion. The rail passenger agency needs at least $1.3 billion to avert bankruptcy, according to debate. The Amtrak funding issue is now before the Senate. ... Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., said that when airlines faced similar economic problems, "they undertook a search of every cost. They went to their workers. They went to their pilots. They went to their flight attendants. They went to the mechanics" and obtained concessions.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][8] [1]: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/18/le.01.html [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/18/AR2006061800332.html [3]: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/la-na-senate18jun18,1,986836.story?page=2&track=crosspromo&coll=la-news-politics-national [4]: http://www.49abcnews.com/news/2006/jun/18/brownback_seeking_medal_honor_gi_bill_author/ [5]: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003067352_vote17.html [6]: http://www.cqpolitics.com/2006/06/kn_3_democrats_unusual_support.html [7]: http://www.reflector.com/local/content/news/stories/2006/06/18/6_18_06_roll_call.html [8]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

Comments

tellitasitis 7 years, 10 months ago

Give me a break! Congress only oversights the corrupt payments that come for the big corporations.

Roberts should be removed as he is nothing but a mouthpiece for the criminal bushco.

The government has lied to the American people so much I believe very little they have to say. I suppose the terrorist attack that was twarted in Californina, which bushco proudly announced a few months ago, which after the facts came out was proven to be a lie. An the American people are suppose to believe Roberts who has continually sidetrack every investigation effort into the NSA illegal spying is not a criminal himself.

Let Big oil give him more funds next time he runs. He will need all he can obtain from them.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"it would be much better to simply prevent the information from being used for anything other than preventing acts of terrorism."

Such as how?

"Congressmen are idiots that act based on political gain and have no place whatsoever in running military and law enforcement duties."

Well, except for virtually all war powers that the Constitution grants to the Congress in Article 2. And, as the Administration constantly reminds us, terrorism is not a mere law enforcement issue.

Congress already has set up day-to-day oversight -- under a judge (whom I note has no political life to enhance).

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Suavity 7 years, 10 months ago

Rather than an oversight committee, it would be much better to simply prevent the information from being used for anything other than preventing acts of terrorism. Congressmen are idiots that act based on political gain and have no place whatsoever in running military and law enforcement duties.

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rhd99 7 years, 10 months ago

An intelligence committee in the Senate that does NOT conduct regular oversight of the crooked ways of agencies like the NSA might as well not exist, since ROBERTS does not like the idea of oversight in the first place.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"It points up, once again, the value of the terrorist surveillance program, the NSA program that's been in the news so much."

Of course, the issue isn't (and never has been) WHETHER there should be a surveillance program but rather if it should exist without any oversight so that it remains about terrorist surveillance and not citizen surveillance.

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