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July 29, 2013


Peter G

I imagine it is always shocking when an agency devoted to finding and keeping secrets does that. And it is amusing to watch so many Democrats join their Republican friends in leaping to the defense of the citizenry against their relentlessly malign government. Now that's some bi-partisanship.

Chris Andersen

If this does produce changes to the level of secrecy around these programs (i.e., make them less secret) than this whole hullabaloo might actually produce something useful. I've never really been bothered by the reports of the technical abilities of the NSA. Nor am I bothered that much by the minimal level of legal authorization necessary to turn those machines on. It's the excessive levels of secrecy around the whole process that I have never felt was justified.

Somehow the idea that talking about our capabilities will somehow make the terrorists better able to thwart them never really made any sense. The terrorists already know as much about our abilities as anyone out there (and if they don't, talking about them isn't really going to make that much difference). But the excessive secrecy only encourages paranoia on the part of the populous those programs are meant to protect, and that paranoia could be as harmful, if not more so, than the acts of terrorism they are trying to prevent.


LOL!! you'll get NSA overhaul as soon as we get gun control passed.


It's funny how the public didn't give two shits until Fox News and their Republicans started to care. If a GOP was in the WH right now, you wouldn't be getting these types of numbers.

Robert Lipscomb

I am reluctant to condemn political masturbation, but mus it be done publicly?

The libertarian left apparently cannot identify the problem with the act (hint: it was not withe the creation of a digital vault) but is somehow affronted by how that act (whatever it might be) was done.

Therefore, I wait with bated breath for the inevitable legislative remedies. Apparently, they will remediate the h"how' of it all.

More confusing is that the initial quote cited, "74 percent of those surveyed believe NSA surveillance of telephone records intrudes on the privacy rights of some Americans" suggests those people are very much concerned with the digital vault.

Yes, yes indeed, the libertarian left and Fox News have convinced a majority of people that METADATA!!! is a SCANDAL!!!

The open question is whether the 74%, Fox News and the libertarian left yet know what metadata is, how it is misused and what would constitute the inevitable legislative remedy.

Ansel M.

And all this whining and crying about trampled civil liberties will continue until the next major terrorist attack kills a bunch of Americans "on American soil". Then, all we'll hear is "NSA Failure", "CIA Failure", "Obama Administration Failure", along with demands for perfect intelligence to prevent future attacks! Maybe we'll even learn that the terrorists had figured out how to circumvent detection before they attacked because the American people demanded more "transparency" in national security programs. Perhaps following such a scenario, at least some folks will finally recognize the necessity of secrecy in maintaining national security.

Robert Lipscomb


With all due respect, I think you are missing the point. We already have transparency. All actions are subject to due process by the FISA court, all of whose members are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The entire system is under the oversight of congress. This is verified by the legitimate concerns expressed by Senator Wyden and several others, even though they were not able to gain many supporters in congress. Add to that, a couple of weeks ago, the administration offered to give the full senate a complete behind-closed-doors secret briefing, but less than half came.

None of them appear to be outraged by what they heard. This lends credence to PM's assertion that the basic system is terribly bad. (Maybe is warrants some tweaks? OK.)

If we already have transparency and if the basic system is not fundamentally flawed, what on earth will be changed or remedied?


In effect, the libertarian left and Fox News will be given a participation badge and taken out for a Happy Meal after the game.

Ansel M.

Robert: My intent was to address the public/media perception of transparency and "secrecy". I am familiar with the Congressional oversight process and understand the FISA process.

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