Keith Alexander Still Playing Bogus Fear Card: 'People Will Die' Because Of Snowden Leaks
from the people-are-going-to-die dept
Keith Alexander just can’t resist playing the “fear card” when it comes to the Snowden leaks. His latest move is to insist people will die:
Terrorists “listen, they see what has come out in the press and they adjust,” Gen. Alexander said. He said the damage from the leaks is irreversible. “I believe people will die because we won’t be able to stop some of those threats.”
Let’s face facts: the NSA cannot and will not stop all attacks. It totally missed the Boston Marathon bombing, for example, even if (ridiculously) it now likes to cite that as one of its “successes” because it was able to make sure that other attacks weren’t likely to follow. Yes, people will die from terrorist attacks. That’s what happens. The NSA is never going to be 100% successful in stopping attacks. That’s the nature of the game. In fact, it’s not clear that the NSA has a particularly good track record at stopping attacks at all. But, going further, just because there are some threats, it doesn’t mean we throw the 4th Amendment out the window the way Alexander apparently would like.
As I’ve said before, I’m sure law enforcement would be able to stop lots of crimes — and potentially some people getting killed — if it was just able to put a video camera and microphone everywhere. But we don’t allow that, because the tradeoff in terms of a violation of our privacy is too great.
Furthermore, that bullshit line about terrorists “adjusting” based on what they read in the press? That might (though, not really) have some weight if others in the intelligence community hadn’t already noted that terrorists already know all of this and avoided using these systems, and the fact that the NSA hasn’t been able to actually show how any of these programs were essential in stopping a terrorist attack on the US.
Having followed pretty closely what the Snowden docs have revealed, it’s not at all clear how any of it would actually make it more difficult for the NSA to do its job. It basically revealed that they’re tapping a bunch of things that most people realized weren’t particularly secure in the first place.
For all the talk of having a “serious debate” on these issues, it would help a lot of Keith Alexander and James Clapper dropped the whole “you’re all going to die” charade. No one’s buying it.