Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, the former chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and the deputy director of the FBI held a classified briefing for members of the Senate on Thursday afternoon, however anyone who attended the briefing would have noticed that there were a lot of empty seats.
Less than half of the Senate actually attended this all-hands-on-deck briefing, much to the dismay of Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide. [...]
“It’s hard to get this story out. Even now we have this big briefing — we’ve got Alexander, we’ve got the FBI, we’ve got the Justice Department, we have the FISA Court there, we have Clapper there — and people are leaving,” [Feinstein] said.
I wasn’t told about this program and I demand an explanation, but I have a plane to catch.