Once again I have to do a little Oregon bragging about my Senator Ron Wyden.  He’s been concerned about the shadier side of our War on Terror–including drone strikes and intelligence collection–for a long time now.  You could say he was into this stuff before it was hip to do so.

Well, Sen. Wyden is not backing down, and he has now teamed up with Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado to write a letter to the NSA, accusing the agency of presenting information on its website–information about the extent of surveillance on Americans–which is “inaccurate”.  Among other things, the letter states:

“We were disappointed to see that this factsheet contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the US government…In our judgment, this inaccuracy is significant, as it portrays protections for Americans’ privacy as being significantly stronger than they actually are.”

The Senators do not specify exactly which part of the website factsheet is inaccurate, as this is classified information, but they do add a classified attachment to the letter for review by the NSA. 

Sen. Wyden, who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been dropping hints about his worries for a while now, even while he could not publically discuss the problems with the NSA.  It’s nice to watch him continue fighting, but it’s sad to say that the tide in Congress is very much against him.

In case anyone out there thinks that I never disagree with the Obama administration, here is an administration policy I feel very uncomfortable with–and at the same time an opportunity to give kudos to one of my local Senators.  Sen. Ron Wyden is requesting that he be allowed to look at legal opinions justifying the killing of American citizens in drone strikes.  This makes sense, as he is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and yet that committee is not being given the information that would enable them to oversee the legal basis for those targeted killings.

This at a time when the administration is at work on a counterterrorism manual which is essentially setting down the ground rules for continued drone attacks and assassinations.  Is it because Democrats have traditionally been accused of being soft on national security–is that why the President feels this need to act tougher than thou about these situations?  Because I hate to ruin a perfectly good stereotype, but if you are one of those hippies toting a peace sign around, this is not the President for you.  (If you’re a true blue Socialist, he’s really not the President for you either, but I digress.)  While he is in the process of ending a couple of wars, he is very much into the continuation of warlike activities.  Um, give peace a chance?