Intelligence Boss Claims The Real Villain Here Is The Press For Revealing His Secret Spying Program
from the nice-try,-clapper dept
DNI Statement on Recent Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified InformationNotice the focus is not on the unauthorized disclosure of widespread NSA surveillance, but rather "disclosure of classified information." So he's already priming the pump for the "real" villain: the press who are reporting on this.
The unauthorized disclosure of a top secret U.S. court document threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation.We've heard that before, and it's ridiculous on multiple levels. First, most would-be terrorists are likely to assume that the government is monitoring all of this stuff anyway, because there have been plenty of hints in the past. So, it's not really that likely that this sudden "revelation" is going to lead some massive change in how bad people communicate. But, more importantly, even if monitoring certain terrorists was so key to dealing with threats, that still doesn't matter. The DNI's job is not "stop threats by any means necessary." Because that's crazy. While it might help government respond to illegal activity, that doesn't mean that we give up our 4th Amendment rights, nor does it mean we need such broad, all-encompassing orders. Such things could easily have been done using a specific, targeted warrant, seeking information on a specific individual. That is, they could have done targeting which would have been useful, but they chose not to, and instead demanded all data.
But, of course, he doubles down at the end on how awful it is that people are talking about this (not that the NSA has access to so much data on everybody):
Discussing programs like this publicly will have an impact on the behavior of our adversaries and make it more difficult for us to understand their intentions.Basically "hey everybody, shut up and stop confirming what everyone knew already: that the US spied on lots and lots of stuff." Also, this appears to be a government official telling everyone to not exercise their 1st Amendment rights to complain about the NSA violating their 4th Amendment rights. The Constitution is crying in the corner.