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Why Does Anyone Still Believe the NSA?
Posted By Washingtons Blog On January 14, 2014 @ 1:30 am In Think Tank,War/Defense | Comments Disabled
The NSA and other intelligence officials have been repeatedly caught lying about their spying programs .
Officials in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government all say that the mass surveillance on Americans is unnecessary:
A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks.“It was, ‘Huh, hello? What are we doing here?’” said Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor….
“That was stunning. That was the ballgame,” said one congressional intelligence official, who asked not to be publicly identified. “It flies in the face of everything that they have tossed at us.”
The conclusions of the panel’s reports were at direct odds with public statements by President Barack Obama and U.S. intelligence officials.
Top terrorism and security experts also agree, saying that:
Indeed, the NSA itself no longer claims that its mass spying program has stopped terror attacks or saved lives. Instead, intelligence spokesmen themselves now claim that mass spying is just an “insurance policy” to give “peace of mind” .
But given that mass surveillance by governments on their own people have always been used – for at least 500 years – to crush dissent , that the NSA has a long history of spying on Congress  for political purposes, and that high-level NSA whistleblowers say that the NSA is using spying to blackmail politicians and social critics  and to prosecute people the government dislikes , the question is whose peace of mind the programs preserve
And while the NSA claims that disclosure of its spying programs hurts America’s security, that’s what authoritarians always say. For example:
So how can anyone believe the NSA at this point?
Unfortunately, fear of terror makes people unable to think straight  … and when the government undertakes a large, idiotic project – like launching the Iraq war – many people will go to great lengths to grasp at straws  to try to rationalize the government’s ill-conceived campaign.
The minority of Americans who believe the NSA have – sadly – fallen for the same trick  …
Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog
URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2014/01/why-does-anyone-still-believe-the-nsa/
URLs in this post:
 repeatedly caught lying about their spying programs: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/spies-can-now-for-the-first-time-monitor-everything-about-us-and-they-can-do-so-with-a-few-clicks-of-a-mouse-and-to-placate-the-lawyers-a-drop-down-menu-of-justifications.html
 3 Senators with top secret clearance: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/3-senators-top-secret-clearance-reviewed-surveillance-extensively-seen-evidence-bulk-collection-americans-phone-records-provided-intell.html
 Another Senator with top secret clearance: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/chairman-of-the-senate-judiciary-committee-we-get-more-info-on-nsa-spying-in-the-newspapers-than-in-classified-briefings.html
 agrees: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/31/politics/nsa-surveillance/index.html
 congress member who wrote the Patriot Act: http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=360333
 more than 100 congress members: http://washingtonexaminer.com/bill-to-rein-in-nsa-spy-programs-nets-more-than-100-bipartisan-co-sponsors/article/2540153
 the official panel created by President Obama to review NSA spying: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/white-house-commission-dont-trust-nsa-mass-spying-unnecessary.html
 reports: http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/19/21975158-nsa-program-stopped-no-terror-attacks-says-white-house-panel-member?lite
 no impact on terrorism: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-13/nsa-data-has-no-discernible-impact-on-terrorism-report.html
 not needed to stop another 9/11: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/30/opinion/bergen-nsa-surveillance-september-11/index.html
 Clinton (and apparently Carter, as well), agree: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/bill-clinton-nsa-spying-verge-worst-worlds-well-security-privacy.html
 chairs of the 9/11 Commission: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/911-commission-chairs-nsa-spying-has-gone-way-too-far.html
 counter-terrorism czar under the Clinton and Bush administrations: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/nsa-surveillance-obamas-experts-recommend-end-nsa-phone/story?id=21265133
 see this: http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/01/12/richard-clarke-alludes-to-the-real-costs-of-the-dragnet/
 federal judge: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/federal-judge-imagine-indiscriminate-arbitrary-invasion-systematic-high-tech-collection-retention-personal-data-virtua.html
 see this: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/not-just-metadata
 never stopped a single terrorist attack: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/nsa-spying-did-not-result-in-one-stopped-terrorist-plot-and-the-government-actually-did-spy-on-the-bad-guys-before-911.html
 doesn’t protect us from terrorism: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/the-fact-that-mass-surveillance-doesnt-keep-us-safe-goes-mainstream.html
 “insurance policy” to give “peace of mind”: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140111/22360125843/nsa-goes-saying-bulk-metadata-collection-saves-lives-to-prevented-54-attacks-to-well-its-nice-insurance-policy.shtml
 always been used – for at least 500 years – to crush dissent: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/01/government-spying-citizens-always-focuses-crushing-dissent-keeping-us-safe.html
 long history of spying on Congress: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/01/spying-congress.html
 blackmail politicians and social critics: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/nsa-tracks-porn-discredit-activists.html
 prosecute people the government dislikes: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/former-top-nsa-official-now-police-state.html
 said: https://twitter.com/tinyrevolution/status/420643730601693184
 Benjamin Franklin: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/like-edward-snowden-benjamin-franklin-was-called-a-traitor-for-informing-the-people-about-the-actions-of-its-government.html
 Samuel Adams: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131216/00141925575/snowden-to-manning-to-ben-franklin-sam-adams-history-leakers-secret-govt-documents.shtml
 makes people unable to think straight: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/youre-68-times-more-likely-to-be-hit-and-killed-by-lightning-than-murdered-by-a-terrorist.html
 go to great lengths to grasp at straws: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/11/investor-psychology-fear-turns-people-into-sheep.html
 fallen for the same trick: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/big-lie.html
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