Terror threat opens new front in NSA debate

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) argued on CNN’s “Statue of the Union” that by shedding light on the weekend terror threat, that “the NSA program is proving its worth yet again.”

“To the members of Congress who want to reform the NSA program, great,” he said. “If you want to gut it, you make us much less safe, and you’re putting our nation at risk. We need to have policies in place that can deal with the threats that exist, and they are real, and they are growing.”

But not all lawmakers agreed that the surveillance was responsible for exposing a terrorist attack, and many, led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and other Libertarian-minded members of Congress, likely will continue to warn that the programs are a government intrusion on civil liberties and don’t make the country any safer.

“There’s no indication, unless I’m proved wrong later, that that program which collects vast amounts of … domestic telephone data contributed to information about this particular plot,” Rep. Adam Schiff (R-Calif.), a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”