you are right that the oversight committees knew full well what the NSA was doing. Where you are wrong, methinks, is where you declare it to be illegal. Given that classified collection methods and capabilities must remain secret, when you have Executive, Judicial, and Legislative oversight all agreeing on the legality of a program... you aren't really going to get better than that.The committees wouldn't have done anything, because those committees were the same ones who approved the idea. You're living in a dream world if you think one of the lowest ranking guys to know a secret can say to the highest ranking guys "What you did is illegal and violates the constitution. Turn yourself in and apologize to the American public". .
There is. One of the things about whistleblowers is that half the time (guesstimating that figure up) the information they are blowing a whistle on (in this community) has already been made available to the relevant authorities.I'd like to see evidence of a whistleblower protection system for highly classified information. You're just assuming there is one