In the halcyon days of the Harriet Miers nomination, Sen. John Kyl waged an impressive one-man crusade against her; there was buzz about Kyl or Sen. John Cornyn being promoted to take Miers' slot when she finally cut and ran. This is a less impressive crusade.
Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl floated an amendment last week attached to Senate Bill 236, which, as it stands now, would require agencies conducting "data mining" operations to make reports to Congress. Data mining is sifting through large amounts of information to find patterns that, in this case, point to potential terrorist activity.
Kyl's amendment, broadly worded, would have criminalized the dissemination of information "concerning efforts by the United States to identify, investigate or prevent terrorist activity."
Nice pull quote from one of the activists who shut Kyl out:
"There was a time between about 2001 and 2005, where all you had to do is burp out the words 'national security' to get something closed. It was really stupid and counterproductive and alarming."