Yet Another Claim Of How NSA Surveillance 'Saved Us' From Terrorists Falls Apart Under Scrutiny
from the keep-trying-guys dept
At the hearings this week, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce claimed that the programs were helpful in stopping a plan to bomb the NY Stock Exchange, saying that the program helped find and capture the planners "in the very initial stages," implying that this was before any damage was done. When questioned just how "serious" the plot was, Joyce claimed: "I think the jury considered it serious, since they were all convicted." Ah, well, convictions are public and people went looking, and now it appears that this story is rapidly falling apart as well. The case in question was about Sabirhan Hasanoff and Wesam El-Hanafi, both of whom pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorism. But nothing in the case had to do with bombing the stock exchange. The idea that the jury convicted them of such caught those involved in the case by surprise:
Joshua L. Dratel, a lawyer for Mr. Hasanoff, called Mr. Joyce's portrayal "astonishing" because none of the defendants was charged with the stock exchange allegation and there was no jury trial in any of the cases.And, now it's come out that the "threat" to the stock exchange never really existed. The people involved did explore the idea, but gave it up on their own well before doing any serious planning, and, of course, the charges against them had nothing to do with that. In other words, while these guys may have supported terrorism, they didn't have any actual plot to bomb the stock exchange, there was no risk, no lives were saved, and they were not convicted of any such plot. So, no, the programs didn't save any lives here either.
You'd think that the NSA and the FBI would be trotting out the good examples first. If this is the best they have...