Wenstrup: “I have reviewed the documents; lives have been saved”
Representative Brad Wenstrup released the following statement on continued funding of counter terrorism tools and H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014:
“I welcome the renewed debate surrounding the role and usefulness of our nation’s intelligence programs within the Department of Defense appropriations legislation. During my tour in Iraq, I came face to face with truly evil people who wish for nothing more than to harm Americans.
I take seriously government’s dual responsibilities to protect our liberty and security. Twenty-first century technologies cannot trample timeless liberties. At the same time, the programs in question have thwarted 54 specific plots, many targeting Americans on American soil. I have reviewed the documents; lives have been saved.
During debate, I supported an amendment clarifying that no funds may be used by the NSA to target a US person or store the content of their communications, including phone calls and e-mails. It is Congress’s duty to provide proper oversight and our intelligence agencies cannot operate independent of the law and Constitution.
I did not support the amendment to categorically end counter-terrorism tools. While I support further discussion and increased oversight of these programs, including prosecution of unconstitutional overreach, immediately terminating these capabilities leaves Americans vulnerable.
As a soldier and a citizen, I place a high priority on supporting our nation’s military and providing for the common defense of our nation, and stand in strong support of this funding legislation.”