Dumbest Logic Ever: 9/11 Happened Without Today's NSA Surveillance, And That's Proof Why It's Necessary

from the how-do-these-people-get-to-be-in-power dept

Oh, Stewart Baker. You may recall this former top NSA and DHS official from the time he said the Boston bombing proved that civil liberties advocates were wrong about cybersecurity. Or, maybe the time he blamed 9/11 on civil libertarians. Or, how about the time he said privacy advocates were to blame for the TSA groping you at the airport? And those are all just in the past few months. Baker always seems good for a head-smackingly ridiculous quote, and it appears that The Guardian got him to provide yet another one.

The Guardian has a big, overly designed (pretty, but... not clear for what good) piece called NSA Files: Decoded, which goes through many of the revelations in the Snowden docs and why they're important. It's a good read, interspersed with videos (which annoyingly autoplay as you get to them). Baker appears a few times, with his second video being another insane quote (as far as I can tell, there's no way to embed the video here):
You can say, well show me proof that this really worked. I can show you proof that the lack of this really failed. And when you lose 3,000 people, that proof is pretty compelling.
That statement is shockingly non-sensical. With that sort of logic, you can argue for almost any abuse of power. You know what else we didn't have before 9/11? Surgically implanted chips in our brains that would transmit our every thought to Stewart Baker's home computer. Is that "compelling proof" that we should now have that? The fact that we didn't have this kind of surveillance at the time of 9/11 is not "compelling proof" that it makes sense now, and you have to have no comprehension of basic logic and reasoning to think so.

The logic here is "9/11 happened, so anything we didn't have in place during 9/11 is automatically compelling proof that it should be in place." You know what else we didn't have when 9/11 happened? Well, the list is pretty damn long. We didn't have a US monarchy. Perhaps we need that. We had airplanes, which were used in the attacks. Perhaps it's compelling evidence that we should get rid of airplanes. You can use this kind of brain dead logic to justify just about anything.

But, of course, that's now how you actually do things. You don't justify something by saying "this went wrong, we have to do something, something has been done, and that's compelling proof." There's a big black box that Baker skips over, and it's the question he was originally asked and declined to answer: does the "something" actually work? But, in Baker's distorted view of the world, that doesn't seem to matter.


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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    All the programs that we had in place were ineffective so we should eliminate those...Right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US

    If only our government knew about the attack beforehand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    And...

    Boston Marathon... so totally effective.

    Even Russia called and said... those guys are bad news! BEFORE ANYTHING!

    DHS & NSA are ANTI American... and these tools would only be effective in competent peoples hands... none of which exist in the Federal Government at practically any level! competent people know to avoid employment there!

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Actually, the US did and does have a plutocracy.

    "We didn't have a US monarchy." -- They're people born into literally feudal entitlements to take as much as they want from the poor without ever contributing to society, so much money which is actually sheerly a notion on paper, that they couldn't spend it away even if tried full time. Let's just take Bill Gates: every day of the year he gets MILLIONS of dollars, more each day than YOU will earn in a lifetime of hard work. That cannot lead to Bill being fair or concerned about us -- despite his tax shelter that masquerades as a charity -- money corrupts, and doesn't take much.

    Since you've a rare vaguely new item here, I'll stop... and go back to wondering about Google's barges...

     

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      out_of_the_blue, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Actually, the US did and does have a plutocracy.

      I LOVE GOOGLE!

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 4:59am

        Re: Re: Actually, the US did and does have a plutocracy.

        It just crossed my mind, anyone can be OOTB

        I'm Spartacus!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    These rejects will say anything, their utter bull**** is getting tired. Every time they open their mouths they lie obfuscate, confuse. Anything but tell the truth, If we didn't have Snowden like morality in the few people we do, we would be truly screwed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    So did Pearl Harbor!!

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    A shameful confession

    9/11 was my fault. I got married shortly after 9/11, and we haven't had another incident since. My marriage is obviously protecting this nation. If only I'd gotten married a bit earlier, thousands of lives could have been saved.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Our government existed and 9/11 happened... Proof that US Government is not effective and needs to be disbanded

    AMIRITE?

     

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    Zem, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:54pm

    I can play this game.

    America put a man on the moon without today's NSA. Now you need the Russians to crew the ISS.

     

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    Dave Xanatos, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    You guys are all wrong. 9-11 happened because I had not yet created my robot gargoyle army. Now that my stealth robo-goyles are continually patrolling the skys above all major world cities, there will never be another 9-11. That the robo-goyles also gather information that further my plans for world conqu-..., I mean, business interests, is a small price to pay.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    I have this magical trinket that keeps ghost dragons from bot..WOAH HOLY SHIT! Did you hear that? I think I just head a ghost dragon! Good thing we have this magic trinket to keep protecting us from ghost dragons!

    Now replace 'magic trinket' with 'surveillance' and 'ghost dragons' with 'terrorists'.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:24pm

    It seems to me the NSA is getting desperate. Before you had to pry anything out of them and now they are coming out of the woodwork to proclaim mom, apple pie, and for the children.

    What I haven't heard are real life, documented, successes showing the NSA actually did do something with this info that resulted in benefits to the nation for the tax money they are spending. Just like the TSA, I see no justification for the stage security they are providing the nation domestically.

    The NSA couldn't even apprehend the Boston bombing perpetrators with the Russians telling the those two brothers were the problem. If they can fail to act when it is pointed out "there they are" what would they be able to do with out overseers to point them in the right direction. Data doesn't contain overseers.

    No, what this proves to me is the NSA is very scared it is going to lose it's precious. And it's about time it did.

     

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    Trevor, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:29pm

    The Simpsons

    This reminds me of an old Simpsons episode where Lisa sold Homer a Lion repellant stick.

    Lisa: Want to buy this stick? It repels lions.
    Homer: No way, prove it!
    Lisa: Do you SEE any lions?
    Homer: OH MY GOD TAKE MY MONEY

     

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    Wally (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:29pm

    I will say this once...I'll say it again...the reason 9/11 had the chance to occur was because the NSA refused to hand data over to the FBI that the FBI needed...It happened not due to the lack of surveillance, but due to a lack of transparency between agencies...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    Irony

    The only terrorist attack to happen near airplanes that resulted in injury and death was orchestrated by a TSA employee. If the TSA did not exist the shooting at LAX would not have happened today and the NSA did an outstanding job spying on everyone and preventing this terrorist attack, oh wait.

     

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    FM Hilton, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    It happened this way

    To hear it told by the real armchair experts, 9/11 couldn't have been discovered by the NSA because it was an inside job and they knew about it anyway, but decided not to tell us because they didn't want us to know about it.

    Ed Snowden also wasn't employed there at the time, either, so they kept the secret!

    But actually, Wally is right-it was the lack of transparency and the "I've got my turf to protect" instinct in the government that provided the hijackers with the ability to not be found out beforehand. Read the 9/11 Commission Report for the background:

    http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

     

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      Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:39pm

      Re: It happened this way

      Government agencies want to make it APPEAR they're not in cahoots with one another.

       

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      gregfullmoon (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 4:13am

      Re: It happened this way

      Reading the 9/11 Commission report for a factual basis of the event is a bit problematic. There was plenty of info coming in. The handlers didn't want it because they had an event that they wanted to happen.

      The motivation is for the New Pearl Harbour of the 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' report from PNAC;

      http://globalresearch.ca/articles/NAC304A.html

      Also I give the link below in my main comment to Susan Lindauer CIA whistleblower. She seems a fairly credible character from establishment family with a good education including a Masters in 'Public Policy' from the London School of Economics. Google her if you want more;

      http://www.examiner.com/article/jailed-9-11-whistleblower-who-made-news-now-free-speaking-out-s usan-lindauer

      It's a bit like biblical creationists who just know that the Earth only got going in 4004BC. How did they know that? It's in the book.

      I'm happy to accept a sublime or hyper-dimensional reality, however the World is very old. And the 9/11 Commission has about as much relation to reality as Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse.
      .
      .

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    "9/11 Happened Without Today's NSA Surveillance"


    Anyone believe this?

    Wanna buy a bridge?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    The LAX shooting happened with the TSA so the TSA should be abolished.

    This shooting is evidence that the TSA is useless. Security experts (including Bruce Schneier) have been saying this for years, all the TSA does is create lines which puts all these people in one central location turning them into a target. So everyone that has gone through the TSA has been screened but what about everyone in line to get screened? Now all you've done is create a line of vulnerable people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:55pm

    Air travel would be much much safer if everyone was required to travel naked. So why don't they simply implement that? After all, you can travel by ship if you really object (and you must be a terrorist if you do).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 1:27am

    Maybe is just me but I always thought that 9/11 happened not because of lack of information, but lack of cooperation between agencies and effective tools to highlight the true threats from the bogus ones.

    What is this crap that what was lacking was more information?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 2:45am

      Re:

      it is not crap if that 'more information' existed but was not available, apart from that you are correct.
      So yes, the information existed, but was not 'put together' with other relevant information to enable them to see the wider view and the 'bigger picture'

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 2:42am

    wow, everyone here has discovered the basic tenant or logic that you "cant prove a negative", but you can confirm a positive.

    the 9/11 commission report stated and concluded that various groups were in possession of enough pieces of the puzzle to determine what the 'picture' is showing, but the groups did not work together well enough for them to put those pieces in one place and see the picture.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 3:05am

      Re:

      So naturally the best way to solve that is to give them a whole ton more info, most of it completely useless for whatever investigation is at hand, let them try and sort what is and is not relevant in time, and then hope they actually talk to each other this time around. What could possibly go wrong? /s

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 8:20am

      Re:

      "but the groups did not work together well enough for them to put those pieces in one place and see the picture."

      hmmmmm - it works so much better now - heh

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 9:11pm

      Re:

      "You can't prove a negative" is not a tenet of logic. Negatives are proved in logic and math all the time. "A negative" is a meaningless phrase. Every statement can be rephrased as a "negative". For example, "the glass is full" can be rephrased "the glass is NOT Empty".

      Here is a pretty good discussion of this fallacious belief. Google goves plenty others:

      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/believing-bull/201109/you-can-prove-negative

       

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    gregfullmoon (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 3:56am

    NSA was invention of Wall St. from 1947

    The NSA has been established a looong time;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency

    And signals intelligence sharing with the 5 eyes or Echelon partners, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand since the 1950s.

    So not sure what bozo head is saying, just more crap from the guys that got plenty of warning from OS intelligence friends and USA intel assets like Susan Lindauer;

    http://www.examiner.com/article/jailed-9-11-whistleblower-who-made-news-now-free-speaking-o ut-susan-lindauer

    Here's the spook community;

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/foreknowledge-of-9-11-by-western-intelligence-agencies/32324

    A nd here's another on incoming intel, very comprehensive;

    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&warning_ signs:_specific_cases=foreignIntelligence

    It's so idiotic. How long can the house of cards stand?
    .
    .

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 7:49am

    Comedy

    You can say, well show me proof that this really worked. I can show you proof that the lack of this really failed. And when you lose 3,000 people, that proof is pretty compelling.
    That's an elephant joke, right? Something to do with custard I think...

     

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    TasMot (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 8:08am

    A New Internet Meme is looming......

    You can say, well show me proof that this really worked. I can show you proof that the lack of this really failed. And when you lose 3,000 people, that proof is pretty compelling.


    Well, the US Government was not giving me $10 million a day, so the lack of this is proof that they should start giving me $10 million a day. Yeah, that's the ticket.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Dumbest logic ever?

    I like it!
    How about:

    9/11 happened without abolishing all copyright and patent law, and that's proof why it is necessary.

     

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    missingxtension, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 11:29am

    talking points brought to you by nsa

    Pri has already reported about the NSA talking points that were passed to all members of Congress. The main one that has gotten a lot of traction is 911 connecting the dots.
    That one is verbatim NSA, and you have heard it from government officials. So my question to you guys....
    Why are you guys falling for this?

     

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