I actually support catching bad guys. I support catching bad guys BEFORE they blow something up- like a long distance run. BUT, the NSA has proven over and over its current process, which consists of collecting domestic data, not only violates the law it is under, the Constitution of the United States, but it doesn’t work all that well. And they lied to cover that up. Why?
The Obama administration’s credibility on intelligence suffered another blow Wednesday as the chief of the National Security Agency admitted that officials put out numbers that vastly overstated the counterterrorism successes of the government’s warrantless bulk collection of all Americans’ phone records.
Pressed by the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at an oversight hearing, Gen. Keith B. Alexander admitted that the number of terrorist plots foiled by the NSA’s huge database of every phone call made in or to America was only one or perhaps two — far smaller than the 54 originally claimed by the administration.
Gen. Alexander and other intelligence chiefs have pleaded with lawmakers not to shut down the bulk collection of U.S. phone records despite growing unease about government overreach in the program, which was revealed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“There is no evidence that [bulk] phone records collection helped to thwart dozens or even several terrorist plots,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and committee chairman, told Gen. Alexander of the 54 cases that administration officials — including the general himself — have cited as the fruit of the NSA’s domestic snooping.
“These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all foiled,” he said.
Now do the low information, unable to pay attention sheep of citizens out there care or are even paying attention to what is going on? No, sadly, no. They leave it to their representatives to figure it out and handle it. Unfortunately, more and more of us have realized more and more of them really like the NSA’s ability to track domestic citizens. Not terrorists, but citizens. Many have asked why? The paranoid fringe in America make the point that one day you can be a citizen, and the next a terrorist, simply by government fiat. If that happens, the issue becomes how well can the NSA- which has now turned inward (a violation of their mission statement)- can track you.
Top U.S. intelligence officials are revealing more about their spying in an effort to defend the National Security Agency from charges that it has invaded the privacy of Americans on a mass scale. Yet the latest disclosure – the NSA tried to track Americans’ cellphone locations – has only added to the concerns of lawmakers.NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander told Congress on Wednesday that his spy agency ran tests in 2010 and 2011 to see if it was technically possible to gather U.S. cell-site data, which can show where a cellphone user traveled. The information was never used, Alexander said, and the testing was reported to congressional intelligence committees.Alexander also defended his agency, denying reports that it has mined Americans’ social media. He also detailed 12 previously revealed cases of abuse by NSA employees who used the network to spy on a spouse or conduct other unsanctioned missions. He said all the employees, with one exception, were disciplined.Director of National Intelligence James Clapper joined Alexander in testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on proposed reforms to the NSA’s surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world, exposed in June by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.
My ex-partner knows this stuff inside and out and is far smarter than me on these matters. He keeps coming back to the phrase he coined years ago “lazy policing”. This is what drives many law enforcement efforts. It isn’t what is legal or proper or more effective, it is what is harder vs what is easier. The NSA should be (and probably is somewhere) looking outward for threats. If they monitor cell traffic in Yemen that is probably a good idea. Monitoring cell traffic and lawful citizen movement in America is a very bad idea. And to argue to the Congress they wanted to see if they could is another lie. I know we can because I’ve seen it done in local law enforcement. Now maybe the NSA wants to know can it from their offices independent of a warrant or probable cause or even reasonable suspicion. If that is so, then we all should be worried, because that means they intend to do just that.
And sadly, lie about it when they get caught because they know what is best of us, and we should trust them…and it’s lazy. And lastly, it is worse that the same people who demanded freedom from government intrusion back in the sixties are the ones supporting it now.
Weird how power corrupts… I think I heard that somewhere before.