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8 Questions That Highlight The Issues About Government Surveillance

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders asks some very relevant and probing questions about our government, promises of transparency, the rights of the governed to know, and NSA surveillance. The list is also a good set of reasons why every citizen should care deeply.

Senator Sanders asked eight questions:

"1. Are the two programs revealed by Snowden legal and constitutional?

2. What else is the government doing to invade our privacy? Until a few days ago, paranoids were people who claimed Washington had cast a vast electronic net over our communications. Who isn't a bit paranoid now?

3. Why did the U.S. government for years debunk what they called a myth about the National Security Agency seizing electronic data from millions of Americans?

4. Why did the leader of the U.S. intelligence community mislead Congress in March by answering a question about the program in the "least untruthful manner" -- a phrase that would make George Orwell cringe.

4. Why do Democratic lawmakers who criticized President Bush for exploiting the post-9/11 Patriot Act now defend President Obama for curbing civil liberties?

5. Why do Republicans who defended Bush now chastise Obama for ruthlessly fighting terrorists?

6. Rather than fierce oversight, why did the White House and congressional leaders restrict full knowledge of the programs to a few elites, and stage, for the rest of Congress, Potemkin briefings?

7. Why does a secret federal court almost always side with the government's requests to seize information?

8. Why didn't the president find a way before the leaks to tell the public in general terms what he was doing and why? Obama ran on a pledge of government transparency, opposed Bush-era surveillance tactics, and denounced the "false choice" between security and liberty."

Are your elected officials focused on the issues? Have they asked any of these questions? It is critical to stay focused on the issues, and not the person.

Have the news media you read/watch focused on the issues or the above questions? Some believe that the news media has failed miserably to focus on the surveillance issues. What do you think?


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