On Bob Schieffer's "Face The Nation " program this morning on CBS, the first guest was House Intelligence Committee Chairman, GOP Rep. Mike Rogers.
The topic was the report from a panel commissioned by President Obama making recommendations for reform of NSA surveillance activities, as well as material from other sources, about alleged NSA abuses and illegal collection of data on U.S. citizens.
Rogers claimed that the report had found "no abuses" in NSA data collection and never "gone beyond its llegitimate power." Others have said the report was "devastating" in exposing NSA abuses of power and illegal collection of data. The conservative congressman also said that all collection of data, from the Internet and 'phone conversations was "reviewed by the FISA court."
Schieffer sat stone-faced as Rogers made his statements. Actually, The FISA court itself suspended some NSA data collection activities because it has bypassed the court's supervision.
The Agency has gotten billions of "mega bites " from central servers of major Internet companies and from other core servers that form part of the Internet backbone. The activities of millions (if not billions) of citizens have been caught up in a dragnet style surveillance problem called PRISM, even when the communication has nothing to do with terrorism.
Schieffer did not mention this.
Too, every telephone call of every citizen of the United States is stored in NSA and private contractor computers. Last week a federal judge called this aspect of data collection unconstitutional.
Schieffer did not bring this up either.
Indeed, The federal watchdog for the National Security Agency has disclosed embarrassing details about misuse of surveillance data by its employees.
The details involve 12 historical cases of deliberate misuse of surveillance data. And two other suspected violations are currently under investigation.
Several episodes stemmed from NSA employees spying on spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends. In nearly every case, employees were allowed to retire without punishment
No mention of this by the CBS newsman.
Recent disclosures indicate that NSA private contractor employees search e-mails and internet activities of Americans for pornographic materials and collectively masturbate when viewing them.
Schieffer also ignored these findings by "eWire" and "Tech Report," both internet blog sites.
As Rogers continued to maintain that the NSA had not abused its power and had not engaged in illegal activities, Mr. Schieffer lobbed a few softball questions at him.
As the interview concluded, Roger's nose looked like Pinocchio's and Schieffer's had turned brown.