By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino defended the NSA Phone Surveillance program in response to an appeals court ruling that the bulk data collection in unconstitutional.

Perino told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT surveillance programs are essential to winning the war on terror.

 

“The tools that we use to track down terrorists are necessary. If you look at people who, a year ago, were cheering on Ed Snowden for releasing all of the nation’s secrets, including this NSA program and then, in the same breath, they will say that we need to make sure that our intelligence community and our police force has everything they need to investigate to prevent terrorist attacks, well how do you think they get that information? There was a big story that said, oh my gosh, the NSA is taking meta data and then they’re turning it into searchable text, well how else do you expect them to find out that terrorists are headed to Texas in order to try to kill people at an event? We need all of the tools at our disposal.”

She said politicians should be very careful before rolling back any data mining provisions.

“Terrorists have to be right only once, we have to be right every single time. If we start taking away tools from intelligence gathering then we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable. I will bet anybody who ends up in the Oval Office, that has that responsibility, they’re going to want those tools…I am on the side of more information to help prevent terrorist attacks.”

Perino praised the progress intelligence agencies have made and does not think they need to be curtailed.

“I witnessed just how hard our intelligence community works and the FBI. I was there a the Justice Department, right after 9/11 is when I started. I knew, firsthand from them, how before the Patriot Act the FBI and intelligence could not communicate, that was illegal. We broke down that barrier. To me, to suggest that metadata is an infringement on your 4th Amendment rights? I don’t see it.”

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