The NSA has been given all that information and they haven't been able to stop a terrorist attack that was actually going to happen. They have been given near unfettered access to the communications records of millions of people and have yet failed in their goal of stopping terrorism. They have been given adequate time and materials within the law and their inability to meet the stated goals says they should not be able to make statements to the contrary.
As a general rule, I find Congress invoking a Special Prosecutor as nothing more than political theather, but maybe in this case it could produce something useful. A true independent prosecutor who could look into the abuses at the NSA and what, if any, action was taken against the bad actors may be helpful. Then again, maybe it will all be classified and nothing will happen. Yeah probably the latter.
for one, it could provide the United States and our allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy.
they have the ability to guess when financial crises may be coming? Yet they failed to do anything during the mortgage bubble when American and allied banks were taking actions that could negatively impact the global economy? Here could have been a chance to justify their budget and save millions, if not billions of dollars, but they missed that as well.
If they were truly interested in the children, they would organize a task force and authorize the money to go after the people who make child porn rather than blocking access to it. Oh but blocks has all the appearance of doing something without actually doing anything, passive agressive governance at its best
How is charging people with "crimes" like this not a violation of the First Amendement? While it definitly should be investigated and if there is a credible threat maybe there is a crime to be charged (i.e. possession of illegal firearms, bombs, etc), but as long as its just talk, isn't it a violation of the first amendement to charge them for speaking the threat, no matter how vile?
The go-to counter argument for this will be people stating "you can't yell fire in a crowded theater" trope. But if everyone in the theatre looks at you and tells you to sit down and shut up, have you really committed any crime? Same thing here, its just talk and when even the possible targets of the threat don't take you seriously, how have you committed a crime?
Remember, the IG report also reveals that a "programming error" meant that a ton of phone calls placed from Washington DC were "intercepted" by the NSA (because someone typed in 202, DC's area code, instead of 20, Egypt's country code) -- and that mistake wasn't reported. That doesn't seem "incidental" to me.
When programming applications, if data validation isn't included its not an accident, its either by design or lack of funds. In this case, the NSA probably spec'd the system to be as free from restriction as possible so agents have maximum flexibility in running their searches. Therefore the program was never intended to be restrictive and subject to oversight, instead the NSA planned the system to be as permissive as possible. Also, agents have to report the "accidental" search results, how come the system isn't automatically finding these kind of results and creating a report? Sickening...