Meet the Press   |  December 22, 2013

Roundtable: Should intelligence community reduce tactics?

A Meet the Press roundtable talks about the NSA's surveillance policies and whether the agency should scale back its practices.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> final thoughts here from the panel on spying. we've got a few minutes so we should be able to resolve this. what do you think? leahy and king. what's the right answer? what's the president going to do?

>> i'm a pretty reasonable security guy, but i think they would worry about the community. i think we need to ratchet back a little bit. that's what the panel wants and so i'm for it.

>> doesn't the public deserve a congress that is capable of putting emotion aside and rethinking these policies? congress has not been willing to address the power given to the executive since 2001 .

>> you want congress to put emotion aside and rethink policies? surely you've been drinking.

>> i think we are going through a correction. america is good at self-correction, and after 9/11, we seated all kinds of power to the executives, some of which i don't think we should have seated in the first place, but it was understandable after 9/11. americans are stepping back and saying, wait a minute, how much of this actually protects us? i thought in the president's commission, one of the most devastating things is we can't point to a case where the bulk protected us.

>> it's both a liberal and conservative argument to say we can come back to the same place, but let's debate it. we don't know a lot of this stuff that's been done.

>> there should abe full debate, because when we go back to david's point on health care , we have to retrust the government. regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, i think some of the revelations you've seen have even shocked some in the program. i think putting in some safeguards, if we're going to collect that data, that it be housed with phone companies, that a court order be given authorization for a third party to look at it. those are sensible safeguards that won't tear down our ability.

>> the fact this is so broad is what makes it safer because the government is not concerned about who is looking at what website. they are really just collecting data to be able to protect the country.

>> the bottom line is this is a tough nut to crack. and the debate between privacy and security is a very difficult one to balance out. i think the president and congress are going to have to figure out a balance. i suspect he's going to end up accepting some of those panel recommendations and rejecting others.

>> thank you all very much. happy holidays. we mentioned burke, my wife, her sister. and the french health care system .