NSA's Talking Points On Snowden Leaks Say To Emphasize 9/11

from the these-sound-very-familiar dept

If you’ve been following all the NSA stuff, you’re used the regular claims from the NSA’s defenders. The folks over at Al Jazeera were able to get the talking points that the NSA has been using in response to the Snowden leaks, and they’re exactly everything we’ve been hearing — with extra emphasis on playing up 9/11. My favorite talking point, described as a “sound bite that resonates” is:

I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.

You’ll also note an awful lot of “we need to connect the dots,” though they leave out the part about how having more data actually makes it harder to connect the dots. They also play up the “over 50 cases” of dealing with “terrorist events” — a number that has since been totally debunked.

The documents are the basic talking points that Keith Alexander, James Clapper and others have been using in their various Congressional hearings. If you watched the hearing yesterday, for example, you’d notice that Clapper especially was almost always reading off the talking points even when asked questions (Alexander appears to feel more comfortable “winging it”). Given that, there’s not much that’s totally surprising — we’ve heard all of this. But it’s still fascinating to see it in black and white.

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Comments on “NSA's Talking Points On Snowden Leaks Say To Emphasize 9/11”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Al Jazeera english is very good and thorough with good british journalistic values at heart and the important freedom of being able to look at USA and Europe from the outside and thereby be free of the blindness from being from a certain country.

Al Jazeera arabic seems to hold a different perspective entirely. It is much more entrenched in the arabic culture and that colours the way they angle their stories.

PRMan (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So true. I have found Al-Jazeera to be top-notch several times in the past. It’s surprising to me, even though it shouldn’t be.

After reading this document, Clapper, Rogers and Feinstein are doing an absolutely pathetic job in defending the NSA.

I feel better in reading this document than in any of their statements to the press or Congress so far.

Things I learned from this document:

1. They recognize and respect the 4th Amendment.
2. They don’t like being spied on themselves.
3. They seem pretty certain to not spy on a US Citizen without a FISA warrant.
4. They actually have a 4-page checklist they follow in regards to American citizens.
5. They review searches periodically to ensure people aren’t just making random searches for personal reasons.
6. They are careful to point out that they don’t ask foreign governments as a way to sidestep 1-4.

I don’t recall anyone mentioning any of these in response to questions. Instead it’s all bluster and megalomaniac personalities.

Now, whether they actually do what they are saying in this document is another matter, but at least they’re not saying: “Never mention that we talk to foreign governments to sidestep the 4th Amendment.”

out_of_the_blue says:

It'd be fascinating to see you actually refute it!

Rather than just marvel at the cover-up. That phenomenon first emerged in the Clinton scandals: instead of reporting facts, media types just marveled at the brazenness of the lies and cover-up.

What I marvel at is that anyone comes here! WHAT is the value that you provide, Mike? Your breathtakingly non-committal comments? I admit I’m behind on most trends, but has news been so trivilized that you can get away with just saying this is “fascinating”? … I await your fanboy-trolls saying, “yes, this is great, we really are that shallow…”

Techdirt. Dumpster-diving to recycle “news.”


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It'd be fascinating to see you actually refute it!

I come here to read your comments ootb.

And I thought you come here for the secret police knock-knock jokes!


????? ? Who’s there?

Secret police.
????? ? Secret police who?

Nawww, man. It’s really just pizza delivery. We were just fuckin’ with you a little bit. But we got your pizza here. The pie’s getting cold. So open up!


out_of_the_blue (profile) says:

Re: It'd be fascinating to see you actually refute it!

I’m sorry, Mike, but after coming to this website for years, I just don’t know what it is that draws readers to you! I can’t figure it out!
Also, for some reason, you should be all fire and brimstone, saying only what I want you to say. It doesn’t matter that your current writing style is able to pull plenty of traffic, you should bend over backwards and alter it to suit me and me alone!
Techdirt. Where trolls constantly display their cluelessness.


P.S. Anyone know what the hell the numbers above actually do yet? I know I don’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It'd be fascinating to see you actually refute it!

“P.S. Anyone know what the hell the numbers above actually do yet? I know I don’t.”

It’s a secret NSA tracking number.

Anyone that looks at it is infected with a brain virus that lets the NSA have realtime access to their thoughts.

There’s not cure and the only way to block it is to wear a hat made out of tinfoil.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It'd be fascinating to see you actually refute it!


P.S. Anyone know what the hell the numbers above actually do yet? I know I don’t.

Speaking for the first group only (08:01:12), they are the mean/min/max mental age being displayed by the retarded OOTB, based on some mathematical calculation run against its post.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: It'd be fascinating to see you actually refute it!

I’m sorry, Mike, but after coming to this website for years, I just don’t know what it is that draws readers to you! I can’t figure it out!

In our case it’s intelligent writing, Cathy. In yours, it appears to be “unrequited love” (salacious wink). Get a vibrator and GTFO.

Anonymous Coward says:

The bigger lie is that it's even possible

That is: that it’s possible “to prevent another 9/11”.

Can’t. Be. Done.

No amount of money, no amount of spying, no amount of data collection and analysis, no amount of extra-Constitutional overreach can prevent it.

Either these guys know this or they don’t.

If they know it, and I suspect they do, then they’re just using this as the stalking horse for doing whatever-the-hell they want to do.

If they don’t know it, then they’re massively incompetent and should be immediately replaced.

Thom (profile) says:

Re: Re: you know what the bad thing is?

Al-Qaeda is invented by the CIA in the 80’s and started just as a list of people. The so called hijackers of 9/11 were broad into the US by the CIA through a rogue visa office in Jemen.

Btw: do you remember mr Atta? They say he flew into one the WTC Towers. The towers went down due to extreme heat and impact: concrete was pulverized, metal was molten, everything went into dust and ash (despite the fact that the kerosine was largely burned outside the building within a few minutes as you can see on all the footage), and also the plain was completely vanished. They couldn’t even find any hard evidence anymore to determine which plan it actually was. The impact was so big that the lower 80 stores, which were completely in tact, all collapsed almost in free fall, as if now construction was in between to resist. They fel symetrically into their own footprint. BUT NOW THE GOOD NEWS: in this gigantic pile of glowing, burning, boiling dust and molten metal they found the paper passport of Mr. Atta! Amazing achievement, don’t you think? There were also more than 500 first responders who heared large and many explosions in basements, starecases, all over the place. But NIST and the 9/11 Commission found those not relevant. Why would they: they had the passport of Mr Atta, so the problem was solved. Hahah, big joke! Unbelievable that citizens and lawmakers of the US (and the rest of the world!) are taking this crap. We need a REAL investigation – ae911truth –

Anonymous Coward says:

What I marvel at is that anyone comes here!

Have another report vote for that ootb.

So when are you gonna follow your own advice and not do so? I promise we won’t miss you.

Having to have talking points rather than actually discussing the issues is what has led us to this point where no one trusts nor believes the NSA, the politicians over this matter, nor the administration.

Had they just came out and owned up to it rather than trying misdirection they would have gained by the public allowing the benefit of the doubt. It’s worked for years that the public has done so without the proof.

Now it comes down to points like Obama saying he didn’t know about the spying on the global leaders of other nations and somehow most don’t believe him as the government has lost it’s creditability.

The NSA faces the same problem with all it’s apologizers trying to get into the action of making themselves look bad.

SourDove (profile) says:

Pre-9/11 coverage

Anyone who followed the prosecution of Ramzi Yousef for blowing up the WTC with a bomb bought by the FBI read the targets and method of the 9/11 plot in the New York Times in 1998.

It was 1980 when I first heard about the plan to let Poppy use Supreme Court appointments to ensure a Bush dynasty. The person who told me approved, because, she felt, Congress wants to please voters and can’t be relied on to do the “unpopular things” necessary to keep the US standard of living higher than the rest. With a CIA family in power, spy agencies could get the party started quickly and hand Congress the bill, precluding debate.

After watching that plan for a daylight coup develop for two decades, I read the list of 9/11 targets in the NYT. The prosecution team who put Yousef away spoke off the record, saying they suspected that his friends were already living and training on secure US military bases.

By 1999 I was able to determine, by logic and strategy, when the attacks would have to happen in order to divert attention from the final public vote count.

I am neither smarter nor better informed than our intelligence, law enforcement, and military agencies. They read the Times, too.

FBI fought NSA for access to KSM’s phone calls for years. Finally they built their own platform in the ocean to listen for themselves.

Thus both agencies knew everything I knew and more. That’s why, in 1999, I realized that if 9/11 were an inside job, that enabled anyone to figure out when it would happen. Were it a sneak attack by foreigners only, that would not have been possible.

Ric says:


The NSA has a job to do. I’m not a fan of the phone bs. I think they just need to worry about America and tell us the people with in reason whats going down.. I don’t expect trade secret’s a timely fashion we need balance. If the NSA would come out and say we you and I are our own best defense that we need to work together and stop this bullshit gun grab. cause is starting to feel like us and them. history has and will repeat if we don’t work together. God bless us all.

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