Protesters booted out of NSA hearing

All four Code Pink protesters were kicked out for shouting at NSA leaders who testified before the House intelligence panel.

Code Pink protesters created a brief disruption during Tuesday's House intelligence committee hearing on the National Security Agency's intelligence operations.

The protesters shouted questions to National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other officials who testified before the House intelligence panel.


"We want our Fourth Amendment back," said one protester.

"Are we going to apologize to Angela Merkel?" said another.

House intelligence panel chair Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues The Hill's Campaign Report: Red-state governors races pose test for Trump MORE (R-Mich.) warned protesters against disrupting Tuesday's hearing, geared toward discussing possible changes to NSA intelligence operations.

During Clapper's opening statement, Rogers halted the hearing to remove a protester and issued a final warning to the audience that no other interruptions would be tolerated.

"Stop spying on us!" the protester said as Capitol Police escorted the individual from the House hearing room. The remaining three Code Pink protesters were booted soon after.

Tuesday's hearing is the first time Alexander or Clapper have spoken publicly since news broke that the NSA was conducting espionage operations against key European allies, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

News of those operations, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, drew harsh criticism from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Senate intelligence committee chief Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) slammed the agency and the intelligence community for their efforts to surveil key U.S. allies.

Feinstein demanded a “total review” of the intelligence community’s spying programs in the wake of the European spying operation, she said in a statement issued Monday.

“The problem is the Congress has no knowledge, the intelligence committees have no knowledge,” Feinstein added Tuesday. “And it seems to me that collecting content on allied leaders who are good friends is not something that we should do, without presidential authority.”

The Senate Intelligence chairwoman has been a defender of the NSA’s phone surveillance programs  initially leaked by Snowden — while saying that some changes can be made. Her committee is marking up legislation in closed session on the NSA Tuesday.