Krauthammer Defends NSA Spying Program: "Of Course There's A Potential For Abuse"

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CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, everything that we have can be abused. We have a police department where the cops have guns and they can shoot, and they can shoot illegally or incompetently or crazily, but you don't abolish the police for that reason. And you have instances of police misconduct. So, you have to ask yourself is this in principle -- a program that's constitutional?

You look at one half of it, the PRISM program, where you're actually reading e-mails, that's only not Americans, it's only outsiders. For instance, it would be insane if you had an e-mail from an al Qaeda operative in Yemen to an associate in London and the nodes of the internet come through the United States, it would be insane not to read the e-mail. As Michael Mukasey, the former Attorney General wrote, I think he did it rather well, the constitution is not a treaty with the rest of the world, it is for the protection of the United States.

Countries spy on each other, we spy on others, I am glad that we do. So in principle, can you abuse that? Yes. But then you have to talk about the mechanism of protecting against abuse, and that I think is a good debate. But to say, 'Well, in principle it can be abused, we shouldn't have it,' makes no sense at all.

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KRAUTHAMMER: The program has been around about a decade and we do not have a single case of anybody saying my e-mail was abused. Well, Rosen in another case. But, do you think after a decade if there were abuse you wouldn't have had a lawsuit, somebody who would go to the press? Until you show me a single case, of course there's a potential for abuse, but show me abuse and I'll get very worried about it.

In the IRS case, there were complaints for years, there wasn't as if it was denying the abuse, but it was happening. You had lawyers, lawsuits and complaints, you would have heard that in this case and you hadn't, so it tells you something about the potential and actuality. (Special Report, June 10, 2013)

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