Congress to hear critics of NSA at same time Senate hears defendersSubmitted by Puma for Life on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 11:40
The simultaneous timing of the hearings will lead to a notable juxtaposition between opponents and defenders of the government's surveillance activities.
"Both Congress and the American people deserve to hear both sides of the story," (congressman) Grayson said. "There has been constant misleading information – and worse than that, the occasional outright lie – from the so-called intelligence community in their extreme, almost hysterical efforts, to defend these programmes."
Although not a formal committee hearing, Grayson's event will take place on Capitol Hill, and composed of a panel of around a dozen members of Congress from both parties.
Grayson said those testifying would include the American Civil Liberties Union as well as representatives from the right-leaning Cato Institute.
"They are both going to come in and make it clear that this programme is not authorised by existing law - and if it were authorised by existing law, that law would be unconstitutional," Grayson said.
The congressman added that Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who first revealed details of the surveillance programmes leaked by Snowden, had also been invited to testify via video-link from his base in Rio.