NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland–Launching the “Uninvited II” summit at a hotel across the street from where the Conservative Political Action Convention is taking place, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey offered a vigorous defense of broad powers for federal authorities to combat terrorism.
Mukasey offered a detailed defense of the NSA’s collection of logs of every American’s phone calls and said leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have caused grave damage to national security – including that terrorists have already begun changing their methods in the wake of the disclosures.
Maintaining a database of every American’s phone calls is “virtually only way US can look outward” at which phone calls are coming into the U.S., Mukasey said.
He also noted that federal courts had deemed the program lawful over a dozen times and that members of congress were briefed on it, mocking the outrage of some lawmakers as being “shocked! Shocked!”
Mukasey questioned the motives of Snowden, who he said had changed his account of how and why he came to leak reams of sensitive documents over time.
He also said that because Snowden fled to China and then Russia, “you better believe whatever was on his computer is in their hands.”