The Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota acknowledges that it rarely agrees with the views of liberal Congressman Keith Ellison, but the group says in a policy statement today that they’re both in sync on one thing: opposition to the NSA surveillance program.
The groups says it joins with Ellison in “calling for a full congressional investigation of the National Security Administration’s acknowledged surveillance of American citizens via the PRISM program.”
The group notes that it “expressed rare solidarity” with the Democratic congressman on this issue.
On its web page, the RLCM says:
Congressman Keith Ellison, a Democrat representing Minnesota’s Fifth District, has joined fellow Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon in disputing President Barack Obama’s claim that “every member of Congress” has been briefed on the PRISM program. Ellison told ABC’s “This Week” that he knew “almost nothing” about the program, could not locate any invitation to a briefing, and may not have been able to attend such a briefing even if there had been one.
The group says it “calls upon the Republican Party of Minnesota, its activists, officers, candidates, and elected officials, to stand united against grants of access to private data which circumvent a publicly recorded due process.”
In the best case scenario, where the PRISM program works in tandem with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain targeted intelligence regarding foreign non-citizens suspected of presenting a threat to national security, the fact remains that a lack of public oversight recently prompted National Public Radio’s Dina Temple-Raston to affirm the impression that “it’s a rubber stamp, and that the government always gets what it wants.” The FISA court has granted 100 percent of the government’s applications for surveillance. No judicial process can be said to both uphold individual rights and side 100 percent with the state.
The RLCMN believes that the PRISM program ought to be suspended pending a full and public investigation by Congress.