Wenstrup: “I have reviewed the documents; lives have been saved”
Washington, July 24, 2013
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.”