The National Review put out another defense of NSA bulk data collection—i.e. unwarranted mass spying.
I am not going to bother responding to everything in Andrew C. McCarthy’s long love letter to the NSA. Since the National Review has come out in favor of equating homosexual pseudo-marriage with real marriage, I don’t feel any need to apologize for disagreeing with a conservative magazine because the NR no longer deserves to be called one. From now on, anything in the magazine that is truly conservative can be understood for what it is: bait.
The NSA doesn’t even know your name.
But you probably don’t know that. It is amazing how little the public has learned from the debate the national-security Right has lost — not is losing but has lost — over the National Security Agency’s “metadata” program.
The information the NSA has collected in bulk from telecommunication-service providers does not include the names of telephone subscribers. They don’t know who you are. It does not include addresses. They don’t know where you are.
Well, McCarthy, when ardent defenders of the NSA say that they kill people on the basis of metadata, it seems a little bit more important than you are claiming. Just because the data collection is intrinsically anonymous doesn’t mean that the NSA can’t attach a name and address to it and that they haven’t done so.
We, in fact, know that NSA employees were illegally tracking people by name—stalking them. And the only reason we know this is because the perps volunteered this information. We have no idea how many other people at the NSA have been doing this either for personal thrills, partisan warfare on behalf of Barack Obama, or for some ostensible intelligence purpose. Neither does McCarthy or anyone else.
And remember, the NSA couldn’t even track what data Edward Snowden had taken. They have no way of guaranteeing that the personal data is safe.
McCarthy wants to make a distinction between the possibility the program is illegal and unconstitutional. Hello? First, we are free to disagree with a Supreme Court decision about what is Constitutional. Appealing to a Supreme Court diktat doesn’t settle the issue. Second, a Federal agency gave itself secret authority based on a secret interpretation of a law that even the pro-national-security author of the bill claimed was completely alien to its intent. If that doesn’t involve unconstitutional usurpation of authority then what does?
And then this:
The depiction of national-security agents who are trying to protect American lives as seventies-style rogues tearing the Constitution to bits is a smear. But a smear is something, and something always beats nothing. The metadata debate is not over, but this battle is. It’s time to accept defeat gracefully, get as much as we still can for national defense, and resolve to do better in the next round.
I don’t have time to link all the posts I have written about corruption and sleaziness in the FBI, the Secret Service, and the porn surfing for a government paycheck in other Federal departments. By what method are the NSA spies of any higher moral caliber than the rest of them—especially since a group of them reported using the NSA toys for stalking their sexual interests and would never have been discovered otherwise!
All of this evidence is shoved down the memory hole and we are fed the myth of the morally superior Federal Agent bravely defending us from terrorists. How does he know?
The people of the United States do not share the National Review’s mancrush on Big Brother. The Republicans are desperately hoping to keep a Constitutionalist from winning the Republican nomination so that voters are stuck voting for HilJebary of the War Party.