I have served on the Senate Intelligence Committee for eight years, and I have yet to see evidence -- classified or otherwise -- that has convinced me that revising the business records provision to include a less intrusive standard would be harmful to U.S. national security. Yet as Congress considers whether to reauthorize this standard -- written in a rush to judgment eight years ago -- some will undoubtedly argue that Congress should just trust that the provision is essential and blindly sign-off on reauthorization. I disagree. While "just trust us" has passed as informed national security debate in this country for eight years, it hasn't resulted in good national security policy. Indeed, the shortage of serious discussion of intelligence matters has frequently resulted in counterterrorism programs that are much less balanced and effective than they could and should be.
Posted by rlssec