Freshman Sen. Angus King (I-ME) told Michael Smerconish on MSNBC on Friday that the debate over the electronic surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency must be a nuanced one. He said that these programs were thoroughly debated in the congressional intelligence committees and have served an important security function. He added that President Barack Obama would be subject to impeachment if he had cancelled that program which, in the future, “could have prevented a nuclear attack on Miami.”
King said that programs like the NSA program “need to be covert.” He said that it is imprudent to alert potential terrorists to the surveillance methods being used to track disrupt their plans.
“My understanding is this was pretty thoroughly debated over the last four of five years in the Congress,” King added. “People did understand what the implications are.”
“Put your journalist hat on,” he continued. “What if the headline this morning, instead of ‘Obama searches records,’ had been, ‘Obama cancelled program which could have prevented nuclear attack on Miami?’”
“We would have the articles of impeachment already drawn up,” King noted.
Watch the clip below via MSNBC:
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