NSA Has Not Saved Us: Federal Oversight Board Says End Domestic Spying

Every major new source is running headlines about the Board’s claim that the NSA phone metadata sweep is illegal/unconstitutional and should end. Here’s Fox News and the New York Times for two of many sources for the story.

Since I know there are people who read Political Outcast who defend the NSA, I want to point out something that is not in the headline. The Board’s verdict that the NSA program should end was not unanimous. Two of the five members of the panel are former Bush administration Justice Department lawyers who have defended the Patriot Act (though remember, the Patriot Act’s author is very much against these NSA programs).

In my opinion, the majority report is obviously right but notice on what these five panel members all agree. In the New York Times, at the very end of the article, we read:

The report also scrutinizes in detail a handful of investigations in which the program was used, finding “no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.”

Still, in her dissent, Ms. Cook criticized judging the program’s worth based only on whether it had stopped an attack to date. It also has value as a tool that can allow investigators to “triage” threats and provide “peace of mind” if it uncovers no domestic links to a newly discovered terrorism suspect, she wrote.

Now that is worth some time spent in contemplation.

Cook is one of the former Bush Administration lawyers. She and the other defender both state for the record, along with the rest of the panel that the NSA has never protected us from terrorism. We’re supposed to keep Big Brother in place, even though he provides no known security, because this gives us “peace of mind.”

Speak for yourself, Cook. The NSA is taking away the peace of mind of most Americans.

Of course, the reason the NSA hasn’t stopped terrorism is probably because it leaves that work to other agencies. It really isn’t devoted to terrorism. It is devoted to spying on us. It is used for industrial espionage to enhance the dwindling economic power of the United States. Because it has been caught doing so, it has actually hurt U.S. business.

The NSA is not only not keeping us safe from terrorism, it is actually making America less secure as it inspires animosity against us abroad.

It is all that and, also, yes, it is illegal and unconstitutional. Impeach Obama and give his Nobel Peace Prize to Edward Snowden, please.