Collins on Syria/NSA

June 24, 2013

By Charlie Bauder, WNEG Radio, Toccoa


9th District U.S. Representative Doug Collins says the United States needs to lead when it comes to taking action in Syria.

Recently, the white house said it had information that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own people.

Collins says he feels the U.S. should have been involved sooner providing some sort of aid and should be involved now.

“I’m not talking about boots on the ground, I’m not talking about the things we usually look at,” said Collins. “However, you have to look at it. Syria is surrounded in an area with Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and of course, Israel. With everything going on, there is an international crisis developing there.”

Collins says aid needs to go those who are fighting for democracy.

Meanwhile, Collins also spoke on the controversy surrounding intelligence officials collecting Americans’ cell phone records.

He says he only learned the scope of the program through the media and adds he has concerns about that scope.

“Is there value to what our intelligence community is doing? Yes. I would never deny that,” said Collins. “I think what we have to do is (look at) the amount of data we are collecting and storing and how we are going about that, is that something we truly want to in essence give away in the name of security. I think that is a very fine balance.”

Collins goes on to say that congress probably needs to re-visit laws on theissue in light of technology.

“They are basing those decisions on 20 to 30-year-old court cases in which just the records of phone calls were not protected by the 4th Amendment,” said Collins. “However, I think the problem we are getting into today is we are dealing with a different set of data. For example, the phone I am on now (during the interview) does more than just make phone calls. There is a lot that goes on here. The concern and the question here is has our laws or our interpretation of those laws lag behind the reality of the digital age.”

The Hall County republican does say the leaker should be prosecuted, stating that no matter the reason or justification, he broke the law.