“Americans have a right to expect Congress to give our intelligence officials what they need to do their jobs.”
Funny, but I’ve looked through the Constitution, and I just can’t find that particular legal right established anywhere. The Constitution is where Americans derive their rights, so if we do have this supposed right, it would be there, but it’s not.
What we do have, in fact, are the following rights, established in the fourth amendment, part of the Bill of Rights:
” The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
What this part of the Constitution guarantees is that Americans have the right to prevent “intelligence officials” from having what they “need to do their jobs” if those officials cannot prove that they actually need it. Way back at the birth of the USA as we know it, members of Congress thought it was extremely important to prevent spy masters (that’s what “intelligence officials” are) from abusing their powers.
There is no right in the Constitution for Congress to give government spies any powers they ask for. In fact, Congress is explicitly forbidden from taking that approach.
His statement during the debate over the FISA Amendments Act reveals that Senator Mitch McConnell either doesn’t know what the Constitution actually says, or he doesn’t care. Whichever is the case, Senator McConnell has proved himself to be incompetent to serve as a member of the United States Senate.
United States Senators, after all, swear a solemn oath to defend the Constitution from its domestic enemies. If Senator McConnell doesn’t even care to know what’s in the Constitution, he isn’t capable of fulfilling that oath.