Updated: Spencer Ackerman has a lot more.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

After stating he thinks what the NSA is doing to be “clearly unconstitutional,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asks the head of the NSA directly if they are spying on members of Congress or other American elected officials.

Dear General Alexander:

I am deeply concerned about recent revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies are collecting enormous amounts of information about phone calls that Americans make, emails that we send, and websites that we visit. In my view, these actions are clearly unconstitutional. As U. S. District Court judge Richard Leon wrote, the NSA programs are ‘almost Orwellian.’


I am writing today to ask you one very simple question. Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials? ‘Spying’ would include gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business? […]

Sanders has “introduced legislation to curb the NSA and has spoken out strongly against its surveillance measures,” including putting “restrictions on what the NSA and FBI can do in terms of collecting data and tracking phone conversations” of Americans. He has ”repeatedly voted against the Patriot Act.”

We all await Emperor General Alexander’s reply, but will other elected officials speak up and out as well?

Read the full letter here [PDF]

Photo by Don Shall, used under Creative Commons license.