When Senator Bob Corker says publicly that Congress doesn’t know what NSA is doing, that is a huge red flag and a most serious charge.
As with any story in which a member of Congress takes the lead in addressing an important topic, I report their resume to understand who is speaking.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
"United States Senator from Tennessee
Assumed office: January 3, 2007
71st Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee
In office: 2001–2005
Born: Robert Phillips Corker, Jr.
August 24, 1952 (age 61)
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Political party: Republican
Children: Julia, Emily
Residence: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Alma mater: University of Tennessee (B.S.)
Profession: Construction executive
Tennessee Commissioner of Finance and Administration
Mayor of Chattanooga
In this case, Senator Corker has been on record for asking for explanations about the U.S foreign policy, hinting at government not having specific outcomes in mind, and truly playing it fast with the feet, meaning, not really having a firm foothold. From this analyst reporter perspective, I agree, that is how it appears.
With regard to NSA, it is probably fair to say that members of Congress are not any more prepared and equipped to police NSA’s actions than is the Judicial branch that has already said they are ill-equipped. The President is the executive in charge, and there have been significant breaches which demand his attention. Otherwise, who are minding the story?
“Corker: Even Congress doesn't know extent of NSA spying
By LEIGH MUNSIL | 8/25/13 9:44 AM EDT
Even Congress doesn't know the extent of the National Security Agency's intrusion into U.S. privacy, Sen. Bob Corker said on Sunday, urging the agency to answer for its programs.
"As the top Republican on Senate Foreign Relations, as you sit here today, do you feel that you actually know what the government is and isn't doing in surveilling Americans?" "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked the Tennessee Republican.
"No," Corker replied. " I don't think there are many people that work harder than I do. I'm not on the Intelligence Committee, and obviously they are privy to information that I am not, but absolutely not. And that's why I wrote a letter to the president this week to ask that the head of this organization come in and brief folks from top to bottom."
The director of the NSA should brief lawmakers on each program that's underway, how they are being used and what their intent is, Corker said. Then Congress can help determine what sort of oversight is necessary.
"Look, I appreciate efforts to keep Americans secure," Corker said. "At the same time, this is in front of us, we are not in front of it. ... The American people want to know that those of us who are elected, (Rep.) Eliot (Engel) and I know, understand fully what's happening here. I don't think we do. I would imagine there are even members of the Intelligence Committee themselves that don't fully understand the gamut of things that are taking place."