CIA Boss Claims That Merely Debating Surveillance Is Helping The Terrorists

from the why-do-we-let-such-people-retain-positions-of-power dept

Yesterday morning, prior to the Senate debate that has resulted in the (brief) expiration of a few provisions in the PATRIOT Act, CIA director John Brennan went on one of those Sunday morning talk shows and made a complete fool of himself, pretending that merely debating things like the 4th Amendment was helping the terrorists. It started off with a claim that various bad people are “watching carefully” what happens, as if anyone honestly believes that terrorists are looking at last night’s vote and thinking, “Oh boy, now we can plan a new bombing campaign by calling America again!”

?I think terrorist elements have watched very carefully what has happened here in the United States,? Director John Brennan said on CBS?s ?Face the Nation.?

And, from there, he argues that any debate about this is bad for America, saying that we “can’t afford to deal with” such a debate right now.

Whether or not it?s disclosures of classified information, or whether it?s changes in the law and policies, they?re looking for the seams to operate within,? he added. ?This is something that we can?t afford to deal with right now, because if you look at the horrific terrorist attacks and violence that?s being perpetrated around the globe, we need to keep our country safe.?

So, when can we deal with these things? Because, sorry, but I thought a core principle of our democratic nation was supposed to be that we could have these kinds of debates openly, and that we didn’t have secret law, with the intelligence community purposely reinterpreting laws to mean things that their plain language clearly do not allow. And, yes, the PATRIOT Act was passed in the wake of 9/11, but we put sunset provisions in there on purpose so that the eventual debate could happen.

But it never seems to happen. Each time the previous sunsets have come up, Congress has avoided debate and waited until the last minute before just extending it. And, so this time, after two years of very public debate — thanks to Ed Snowden — Brennan now wants to claim that we can’t afford “to deal with this right now”?

The whole “we need to keep our country safe” line is a bunch of hogwash as well. Remember, that the key program that expired last night, the one (very likely illegally) based on Section 215, has not been shown to have been critical in stopping a single domestic terrorist attack. In nearly 15 years. I think it’s not unreasonable to say that we can have some debate on whether or not it’s necessary. And also whether or not it violates the Constitution.

Why would a sitting CIA director be so worried about having such a debate? Why would a sitting CIA director not be willing to discuss what he and his colleagues are doing? Yes, obviously, operational details can and should be classified. But that’s not what’s being debated. The question is whether or not the intelligence community should have access to everyone’s phone records without a warrant.

?The tools that the government has used over the last dozen year to keep this country safe are integral to making sure were able to stop terrorist attacks,? Brennan said.

Except we know that’s a lie, because everyone has confirmed that the program has not been useful.

Lying about it just raises more questions. Why does Brennan want this program so badly? What is he and the CIA doing with it?

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Comments on “CIA Boss Claims That Merely Debating Surveillance Is Helping The Terrorists”

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DigDug says:

Dumbshits @ Executive Branch - Wake the frak up!!!

As long as you have this mindset, the Terrorists Win!

See, the problem a lot of the extremist muslims have with the United States is all of our Freedoms.

After 9/11, even though the Constitution and its’ amendments didn’t change, the Executive branch of the government chose to pretend that they did.

That means that the Terrorists are winning this war.

Until all of the sweeping scanning, storing, sifting, sorting of every packet of all information is stopped, the Terrorists win.

That means that the entire Executive branch is aiding and abetting the Terrorists plan, which makes them all traitors committing acts of Treason against the United States of America.

David says:

Re: Dumbshits @ Executive Branch - Wake the frak up!!!

See, the problem a lot of the extremist muslims have with the United States is all of our Freedoms.

More of them have a problem with the U.S. raining death and destruction from the skies on their friends and neighbors and occupying their countries under pretenses whenever U.S. access to their natural resources is hampered by governments with too little affinity to the U.S. dollar.

It’s no accident that the U.S. has humongous trade deficits as it forces other countries to hand over their goods in return for dollar vouchers that are not really good for buying greatly interesting things in the U.S.

DigDug says:

Re: Re: Dumbshits @ Executive Branch - Wake the frak up!!!

Do you see modern extremist christians wholesale slaughtering people because they dared to let women have an education?

What was that? No? Really? Ahh, so you were just blathering to be blathering rather than adding anything productive to the conversation.

DaveK (profile) says:

Re: It's not just the First Amendment.

Wow! Seriously? The CIA has a serious problem with the First Amendment.

DUDE! The CIA has a problem with democracy.

John Brennan did not “[make] a complete fool of himself”. He let the mask slip. He has the mindset of a totalitarian – and he is seeking the tools and power to implement his vision of how things should be run.

Ambrellite (profile) says:

Bureaucratic stupidity

It’s reasonable to assume that the intelligence community has adopted it’s “collect-it-all” mentality for purely bureaucratic reasons. It inflates their budget, has a lot of non-terrorism-related usefulness to the government (so long as the DOJ is on board with the necessary felonies), and is very useful for politicians as a political football. National security isn’t much of a consideration (as the unending demands for backdoors illustrate).

The only problem here, as far as they’re concerned, is public awareness and opposition, which threatens the whole enterprise.

J says:

I wonder if the CIA has secretly redefined “terrorists” to include any American citizen who has no desire to simply surrender their inalienable rights?

Any American who joined the service and made sacrifices (physical and mental) because they were fighting to preserve and protect US Constitution, should view John Brennan as nothing less than an enemy of the state, who wants to make those sacrifices mean as little as possible.

Just Another Anonymous Troll says:

If this isn’t something we can afford to debate right now, when can we debate it? I highly doubt terrorist tactics will ever straight-up vanish, they’re far too effective for that. If terrorism will never go away, does that mean we can never afford to debate this? That’s not what America is built on; just shutting up and doing what the government says.

Anonymous Coward says:

In the quoted paragraph, I didn’t take “this is something we can’t afford to deal with” to mean the debate itself. So I watched the video, and it seems pretty clear he’s talking about the sunsetting provisions, not the debate. Everything he says is a lie, but the point of this article appears simply incorrect. No need to distort his words, he hangs himself without any assistance.

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