FBI director on NSA controversy: ‘Government operating as it was designed’
OKLAHOMA CITY – While many Americans are still reeling from several controversies surrounding the federal government, a top-ranking official stopped by the Sooner State to provide his view on some of the incidents.
FBI Director James Comey spoke with the media about some of the skepticism surrounding the government.
He said, “All Americans should be suspicious of government power. This country was built by people who worried very much about government power. So, they divided it into three branches of government because you couldn’t trust people in a unitary government. So, I think that’s great. People from kids all the way through our oldest citizens should ask, ‘What are the governments powers and how are they using them?”
However, Comey says he does not believe the NSA did anything illegal by collecting phone data on citizens and foreign leaders.
He said, “What’s frustrating for me in the current storm of controversy surrounding NSA is that what we’re talking about there is not rogue conduct. It’s not lawless conduct. Take the collection of telephone dialing information, which the FBI is involved in with the NSA, that’s conduct that’s a statue passed by Congress, overseen by the federal courts, overseen by inspectors general throughout the government. It’s all three branches of government working to effectuate a policy. Reasonable folks may disagree about the policy and say the government shouldn’t have a database of telephone records, I respect that view. What can’t be said is that this conduct was somehow like controversies around war, Watergate or some nonsense. This is the government operating as it was designed. Whether you agree with it or not is a serious question but you can’t say it was somehow outside the law.”
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