Friday, June 14, 2013

Big whoop

By Carl

OK, I mean, it’s nice that this highly intrusive program has paid dividends. That’s great that we can get some bang for our bucks.

No pun intended.

There is a point where we have to wonder if there wouldn’t have been any other way of getting around to stopping terror attacks that this program netted. Couple that with the fact that it also failed to net the Boston Marathon bombers, as well as any number of terror-like attacks (the recent Ricin mailings come to mind, as well as the assault on the Sikh temple massacre last year) puts a bit of a damper on General Alexander’s boasts:

In a robust defense of the phone program, General Alexander said that it had been critical in helping to prevent “dozens of terrorist attacks” both in the United States and abroad and that the intelligence community was considering declassifying examples to better explain the program. He did not clarify whether the records used in such investigations would have been available through individual subpoenas without the database. He also later walked back the assertion slightly, saying the phone log database was used in conjunction with other programs.

In his testimony, General Alexander said he had “grave concerns” about how Mr. Snowden had access to such a wide range of top-secret information, from the details of a secret program called Prism to speed the government’s search of Internet materials to a presidential document on cyberstrategy. He said the entire intelligence community was looking at the security of its networks — something other government officials vowed to do after the WikiLeaks disclosures three years ago.

Under the Prism program, the N.S.A. collects information from American Internet companies like Google without individual court orders if the request is targeted at noncitizens abroad. That program derives from a 2008 surveillance law that was openly debated in Congress.

Oh. Well. I see now. The program doesn’t track terrorists per se. Only brown-skinned ones. Well, that’s much better. We white people are free to bomb marathons, abortion clinics, and murder Arabic and Arabic-looking folks to our hearts content.

Terrorism is terrorism, whether it’s 19 Saudis flying planes into buildings, a couple of lunatics with rifles picking off passersby, or the NRA threatening your daughter with rape if you don’t buy her a gun. Period. It’s only security theater to think that only Muslims mean us harm.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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