The Lamest Excuse Yet for Spying

Obama Says We Need Mass NSA Spying to Count the Horses After They’ve Left the Barn

We have extensively documented that the government’s mass surveillance , that it hasn’t prevented terror attacks, and that it is being done for other reasons.

As TechDirt reports, the government is scraping the bottom of the barrel to concoct faux excuses for mass spying:

Huffington Post has an article about how President Obama is meeting with many of the biggest Congressional critics of the NSA surveillance programs to discuss their concerns. However, on Wednesday he also met with larger groups in the House and Senate, where he continued to stand behind the programs. At the very bottom of the article is this stunning tidbit:

Obama reiterated his call for a “balance” between privacy and national security, but also invoked the Boston Marathon bombings as an example of where data collected by the NSA helped “identify whether there was a great plot.”

Right. So, after there was a bombing which no intelligence agency spotted beforehand, he’s now claiming that the NSA got to jump into action to find out that there wouldn’t be any more bombings because there was no bigger plot. We’re not even in the silly debunked realm of “preventing terrorist events” anymore. Now we’re at “Great work everyone! We found out that there’s no larger plot to worry about — sorry about the explosions and related mess.” Using the discovery of a lack of further threats after a bombing happened undetected to justify spying on all Americans? That’s crazy.

When that’s the best you can do to defend this program, something is clearly wrong. The program didn’t prevent the bombing. It may have allowed law enforcement to be more confident that there wasn’t a larger plot behind it slightly faster than regular police work did, but that’s not exactly a reason to violate everyone’s privacy, now is it?

In other words, the government has been reduced to making lame excuses to justify an unnecessary program.

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  • Washington76
  • Eric Hollingsworth

    I was about to recommend the book, “Cloak and Dollar,” before I saw the unusually low Amazon rating of 2 stars. Critics of the book seem to attack the writing style rather than the accuracy of its claims, and the CIA, interestingly, has published a review that seems in tune with the commenters on Amazon (the CIA’s Who, me? publications are often an entertaining read).

    It’s been many years since I’ve read the book, but I remember some interesting tidbits, such as the President who spent the highest percentage of the executive budget on foreign intelligence being none other than George Washington.

    But, if I remember correctly, the main thesis of the book is that intelligence failures are inevitably rewarded with expanded intelligence scope and budgets. 9/11 would seem to bear that theory out.

  • jadan

    Yes, but when you justify your new gadget, you’re boosting consumer demand. When government wants new toys and techniques, it is destroying the Constitution, not to mention faith in government itself. Bad analogy, GW.

  • Steel man

    It’s always interesting to see the lies these “powerful” men come up with the try to justify something they don’t care about whether we like it or not. The NSA reported to secret courts that don’t need actual warrants, and express themselves in secret judgments. If they get rid of these secret courts, they’ll just come up with super secret courts…and the Boston bombing was not done by others, but was another example of domestic terrorism performed by the biggest terrorists in the world, the ussa government.
    Enlighten to action:

  • gozounlimited

    Alan Grayson: NSA Violates the Constitution, Excuses are Irrelevant …..

  • Jay Fenello

    Also notice, every example they use to justify these programs reference communications with foreigners (which is already legal, and in no way justifies the mass surveillance of ALL U.S. citizens).

  • Jay Fenello

    Also notice, every example they use to justify these programs reference communications with foreigners (which is already legal, and in no way justifies the mass surveillance of ALL U.S. citizens).