In what sense are we a democracy if even our own elected officials do not know what our government is doing?

Wednesday Senator Patrick Leahy, chair of the Judiciary Committee said in a hearing that he learns more about NSA spying programs in newspapers than in classified briefings. Were it not for the Edward Snowden leaks I wonder if he would even know that. Officials from within NSA assure us that the program is not being misused, but it was discovered recently that there have been cases of NSA agents spying on former lovers. It does not take much imagination to see that domestic spying will destroy democracy more surely, even if more slowly, than the external threats NSA is protecting us from.

I don’t want to take the word of someone that I didn’t elect that the republic is still intact. One can make a logical case that there is information that cannot be shared with the pubic, but there is no such case for why we cannot know the process by which that information gathering is made accountable to our elected leaders.