John McCain On NSA Spying: “Something You’ve Got To Accept”

While appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that NSA spying is part of “the world we’re living in” and claimed that young Americans are bothered by NSA spying because their memories of the 9/11 attacks have faded.

McCain has been an enthusiastic proponent of the NSA despite his acknowledgement that the agency has abused its power in the past.

After discussion of sports, the conversation shifted to Donald Sterling and the subject of his phone conversations being recorded, and McCain explained that:

“It’s the world we’re living in. You don’t like it, but everything I say I expect to be recorded,” McCain told Patrick. He went on to defend its place in the lives of American citizens:

“It’s just the way we live. It is something you’ve got to accept. I don’t particularly like it, but it is what it is.”

McCain dismissed a poll that showed 53% of Americans believe that their phone calls are being recorded. When asked by Patrick if they are, McCain laughed, “no, no.”

“Young people aren’t particularly happy. We’ve forgotten a little bit about 9/11, and how if we’d intercepted the right communications we might have prevented 9/11,”  McCain continued.

He admitted to Patrick that “there have been abuses” and “we’ve got to be more transparent”. However, McCain concluded that “we’re all grown people, and we have to realize we live in the 21st century. I’ve said things in the past that I wish I hadn’t said and… it just is what it is.”

This brief discussion of the NSA with Patrick illustrates McCain’s nonchalant approval of massive surveillance. While McCain has pushed for an overhaul of NSA oversight, he remains convinced that the spying should continue as part of day-to-day life and may someday actually intercept a terrorist plot.

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