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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. speaks at the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Christians United for Israel is an American pro-Israeli organization. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
I am loving that businessman Jay Stamper (D. SC) keeps hitting Senator Lindsey Graham (R. SC) on this:
In response to new NSA disclosures detailing privacy violations, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jay Stamper today called on Senator Lindsey Graham to apologize to the people of South Carolina for misleading them about the NSA's record of domestic spying.

In June, Senator Graham defended NSA surveillance practices, saying they are “limited to tracking people who are suspected to be terrorists.”

The NSA has now disclosed that one of its programs illegally intercepted tens of thousands of domestic emails and communications annually for at least three years before informing the FISA court.

"Lindsey Graham was aware of NSA privacy violations and deliberately misled South Carolinians," said Stamper. "Accordingly, I call on Senator Graham to apologize to the people of South Carolina."

Here's what Graham said back in June:

“I’m glad the NSA is trying to find out what the terrorists are up to overseas and in our country,” Graham said this morning on Fox & Friends.

He continued:

“I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to the terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So we don’t have anything to worry about.”

Graham then attempted once more to defend the NSA’s secretive actions as part of a greater goal of hunting down terrorists on a domestic level, seemingly neglecting the criticisms that come with operating a surveillance program that blanket tracks the records of people not even suspected of a crime. “I’m glad that activity is going on, but it is limited to tracking people who are suspected to be terrorists and who they may be talking to,” he assured the hosts. - Mediaite, 6/6/13

Ah but then this happened:

The National Security Agency declassified three secret court opinions Wednesday showing how in one of its surveillance programs it scooped up as many as 56,000 emails and other communications by Americans not connected to terrorism annually over three years, revealed the error to the court — which ruled its actions unconstitutional — and then fixed the problem.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper authorized the release, part of which Obama administration officials acknowledged Wednesday was prodded by a 2011 lawsuit filed by an Internet civil liberties activist group.

The court opinions show that when the NSA reported its inadvertent gathering of American-based Internet traffic to the court in September 2011, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered the agency to find ways to limit what it collects and how long it keeps it.

In an 85-page declassified FISA court ruling from October 2011, U.S. District Judge James D. Bates rebuked government lawyers for repeatedly misrepresenting the operations of the NSA's surveillance programs. - AP, 8/21/13

Yeah, no wonder Stamper wants Graham to apologize.  Stamper's been pretty consistent on the issue of NSA domestic surveillance.  Though Graham has been the center of his attacks, Stamper has also been critical of the White House:

Yesterday, the Washington Post contradicted claims made by President Obama and Senator Lindsey Graham that the NSA does not spy on Americans. We now have every reason to believe that the NSA regularly sweeps up communications of average U.S. citizens and saves the communications in searchable databases.

This violation of our constitutionally guaranteed civil rights should concern every American, regardless of their party affiliation.

Unfortunately, despite the public outcry, administration officials continue to mislead the American people without facing appropriate consequences.

In March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to Congress when he denied that the NSA collects data on ‘millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.’ Clapper should have resigned immediately. I call on him to resign now.

The continuous stream of misleading information from the government makes it obvious that we cannot rely on the NSA to police itself. Congress must investigate NSA surveillance practices and take immediate action to significantly reform the agency.

While Graham is fighting for his political life in his own primary, lets get behind Stamper's campaign.  You can check out his website here:

And you can donate to his campaign here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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