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Half of Senate Skips NSA Briefing

Took a long weekend instead
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2013 12:05 PM CDT
Half of Senate Skips NSA Briefing
FILE - This Sept. 19, 2007, file photo, shows the National Security Agency building at Fort Meade, Md. The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Cailf., chairwoman of...   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – Remember when Obama assured us last week that the government's surveillance programs are safeguarded and members of Congress " have been consistently informed on exactly what we’re doing"? Perhaps he should have added "... so long as they show up." Only 47 out of 100 senators attended a briefing on the government's classified security programs led by NSA head Keith Alexander and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Thursday, the Hill reports.

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The other 53? Well, they wanted to fly back home for a long Father's Day weekend. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein is not happy. "It’s hard to get this story out," she says. "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.” (Read more Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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