"Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all U.S. persons," the spokesman said.It all reminded me of the last time a Senator asked a stupid question - then it was Rand Paul. He wanted to know whether the Obama administration would target US citizens on American soil for a drone strike. To understand that as a stupid question, it helps to look at events both before and after he asked.
On March 5, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech outlining the legal rationale this administration uses to approve drone strikes - including under what circumstances an individual would be targeted.
On February 4, 2013 an administration white paper on the same topic was leaked to Michael Isikoff.
On March 4, 2013, Attorney General Holder wrote a letter directly to Sen. Paul in response to his question.
And still, on March 6, 2013, Sen. Paul staged a talking filibuster on the grounds that he needed this question answered, by gawd!!!!
Subsequently, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote another letter. This time he left out all attempts to engage as if talking to an adult and brought it down to Sen. Paul's level.
It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no.Apparently that was enough to satisfy Sen. Paul (after all, it was the notoriety of the filibuster he wanted, so mission accomplished for him). But was it clear enough for the poutragers? Of course not!
Because now we need a definition of what “engaged in combat” means.I kid you not. Go check the link. That was a serious response from Marcy Wheeler (otherwise known as "emptywheel").
That's why it doesn't pay to think this administration will EVER satisfy these people. Because aside from the effort to grandstand, they're not interested in engaging in conversation. From nuanced speeches to infantile clarity, there's no trick pony here.
In that light, I find the administration's response to Sen. Sander's question to be completely adequate - if not a bit amusing. Making it clear that members of Congress are treated exactly the same as every other American is not a bad way to go because it points to the stupidity of the question in the first place.