This is how you actually try to change things. Senator Al Franken isn’t grandstanding for the press and pretending he never knew about the Patriot Act and wasn’t briefed on just how the government was using the Patriot Act. Instead, he used this opportunity wisely to call for greater transparency, within reason and with respect to national security issues.
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) issued the following statement in response to reports of the National Security Agency’s collection of phone data:
“There’s a balance to strike between protecting Americans’ privacy and protecting our country’s national security. I don’t think we’ve struck that balance. I’m concerned about the lack of transparency of these programs. The American public can’t be kept in the dark about the basic architecture of the programs designed to protect them.
“We need to revisit how we address that balance. I agree with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that the relevant significant FISA Court opinions should be made public to the degree possible, consistent with protecting national security.”
Franken isn’t playing the head in the sand game that Speaker Boehner tried Thursday morning, and he’s not going to feign innocence and outrage like Senator Rand Paul. Nor is he going to sit back and play corporate Democrat. This is how you push for liberal transparency without sounding like you don’t care about national security.