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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Senate to hold closed briefing on NSA surveillance, lawmakers say they weren’t informed of programs

A portion of the Senate Intelligence Committee
image credit: SenRockefeller/Flickr
Madison Ruppert

The Senate Intelligence Committee will reportedly hold a closed briefing for members to discuss the recently revealed National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs after some lawmakers complained about not being informed of PRISM.

The recent media furor began with a report showing that a secret court order forced Verizon to hand over all records for U.S. customers to the NSA. Soon after, the massive NSA surveillance program called PRISM involving major tech companies was revealed followed byBoundless Informant.

We now know that the whistleblower is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of Booz Allen Hamilton and former employee of the CIA.

Currently, individuals in Washington are engaging in massive damage control and it appears that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath about the NSA programs.

The complaints from legislators, including Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), are quite surprising given that Obama previously claimed, “The programs are secret in the sense that they are classified, but they are not secret in the sense that when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”

Thune, on the other hand, said that he believes most of the members of Congress, contrary to Obama’s statement, are not fully aware of the extent of the NSA program known as PRISM.

“Well I think that the times that this program’s been reauthorized, much of this operates in levels where there are not that many people — members of Congress who are fully engaged in what’s going on,” Thune said on MSNBC, according to The Hill.

“The Intelligence committees, obviously, are involved and Homeland Security to some degree, but most members of Congress are given a piece of legislation to vote on and I don’t believe that most members of Congress were fully aware of how broad this was,” Thune said.

However, the White House stated on Monday that 22 briefings on the program were held over the last 14 months. Some of those briefings reportedly included members of Congress who do not sit on one of the intelligence panels.

Despite the backlash from within the U.S. and abroad, a senior intelligence official told The Washington Post that there are currently no plans to end the massive surveillance program.

Since the briefings will be closed to the public, it remains to be seen how much information will be released for public scrutiny.

For those who need an overview of the revelations of the NSA’s surveillance program, you can listen to my interview on Flow of Wisdom Radio with Sean Anthony which aired live on GCN on Sunday, embedded below.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. I am also available for interviews on radio, television or any other format. Please email me at

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here:http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at

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