|The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
From Denny: With all the anger darting furiously all over the place from government officials concerning the NSA leaks about virtually indiscriminate secret phone sweeping upon millions, most especially furious national politicians, it's time for everyone to slow down and calm down.
It's of no help for Senators to be seen screaming threats and pronouncements on the news, especially when it is the Senate that is supposed to be the slow deliberate body constitutionally. It sure doesn't help for DNI Clapper to be seen with such a huge tell he is lying as much as he is frustrated. The good news is that our national intelligence director is a lousy liar. It's time for everyone to take a deep breath, sit down and recover their cool. None of us have the whole story yet.
More leaks are coming out and you will just have to weather the storm. As the news is revealed then just answer as best you can in a timely fashion. Do not delay your answers and play the stupid role of cover-up.
As the FBI tracks down Edward Snowden to question him and determine just how much he really knows and has timed to release, be mindful of using wisdom in this entire matter. If President Obama, the CIA, or the NSA have sent out assassins to kill him, then call it off now. If any of you have thought about killing him, then think again as it would only create a bigger mess. I see absolutely nothing has changed since the years I grew up in the CIA and I am so ready to bitch slap the first person who thinks they can step over this line and kill or harm Snowden.
The FBI had better not do any of their notorious cowboy tactics either when they take custody of Snowden. He had better be returned unharmed, alive, conscious, not tortured and well. Anything less will not be tolerated. Remember, he is still an American citizen and that had damn well better count for something or the President will find the entire country in revolt.
What we really need to do as a country is review the entire American intelligence community and how it perceives what should be its response to tracking down terrorists among other interests. There are far too many programs initiated under President Bush that were not good foundations for which President Obama should be building upon for the long term. There is also a whole lot of BS'ing going on to the FISA court from the Justice Department and the IC. Those FISA members are much too quick to believe it all which is part of why we are in this NSA leak mess.
The most notable practice from the screwy Bush era is employing far too many outside private contractors for virtually every aspect of the government which means the government loses control quickly. These guys are not accountable to the public. Nor can these "defense contractors" be trusted with so much information. They sift raw intel and can easily lift what they want for themselves without the intelligence or military communities aware of what is missing. They might as well be shell corporations for WikiLeaks.
Those private contractors can also go rogue and target private citizens in secret when any among them decide to be obnoxious. How does the public know if they have been targeted for identity theft or just plain creepiness? Just like the State Department Inspector General's quashed report about the pervs and pedophiles in their midst, the public has no way of knowing how many pervs are among the private contractors secretly targeting individuals. These guys have way too much authority and power to do what they want, when they want or where they want to whomever they want. Who is their real and constant oversight?
That unfiltered unlimited power given just to a Secret Few is unacceptable to any person of conscience, especially in a democracy. I've tried to warn the President for some time now that this path was unwise and would blow up in his face. Team Obama spent more time petting political optics instead of drilling down into the federal government to uncover the worst issues and correct them decisively. There is so much perversion and out of control garbage going on in the federal government that went unchecked during the Bush era and the Obama first term that we cannot ignore it any longer. It's past due time for reform.
Meanwhile, the intelligence community (IC) and the Pentagon need to quit being so lazy, get serious and develop more intuitive ways of tracking down these terrorists instead of their block-headed concrete thinking tactics. While I am aware of these community cultures and what directions they have gone with the data they have been collecting I will not say publicly. Trust me; it's a really bad idea.
How well the President and the other agencies handle the Snowden revelation will determine how much America will trust their government in the future. Be smart, go slow and choose wisdom.
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