Many members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who gathered on Thursday for a hearing on the National Security Agency had harsh words for a foe they thought had deceived the American public and spread mistrust about U.S. intelligence methods.
If you were thinking that foe was the NSA itself, you'd be wrong. It was the media!
Multiple senators, while defending the NSA's tactics and surveillance programs, made sure to get a dig in at those awful people in the media who revealed those tactics to the world.
The committee's chair, Dianne Feinstein, led off:
— Alice Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) September 26, 2013
Her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss, continued the theme, blaming leaker Edward Snowden:
Saxby Chambliss: Snowden will have blood on hands, should be prosecuted, not a whistleblower. He should have told Congress abt his concerns.
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) September 26, 2013
One senator, Republican Dan Coats, even used his entire five minute allotment for a rant about the media:
Sen Coats blasts media, says reporting contributes to overwhelming lack of trust and that intelligence agencies trying to protect Americans.
— Patricia Zengerle (@ReutersZengerle) September 26, 2013
Coats went on for so long about the media's malfeasance, in fact, that he didn't even ask a question:
Coats ultimately doesn't have a question, but James Clapper answers anyway: "You have very elegantly captured our frustration"
— Dan Roberts (@RobertsDan) September 26, 2013
At least one senator, Democrat Ron Wyden, wasn't having it:
Wyden: Joint testimony blames media and others but this could have been avoided if Intel leadership could have been straight w/Am people.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 26, 2013