Skip to main content

When I heard that General Keith Alexander testified that 50 terror plots were thwarted due to NSA's programs, I wondered why there wasn't more questions asked on the nature of the Thwarted Attacks.

Over the years it seems that the government was more than happy to report their prowess in preventing attacks.

I suspect their excuse would be: if they reported them, they would tip our hand in fighting the GWOT.

Reading the testimony closer it cites leads that helped prevent "potential" events. In over 20 countries and at least 10 domestic.

What is the nature of a "potential event?" They questioned a Muslim woman in Hamtramck  who brought a pressure cooker?  

I was once in an employment situation where, in an annual evaluation, I was accused of frequently telling co-workers "That's not in my job description!" I knew this to be false, for many reasons. In the first place, I have a deep appreciation for language, and I despise popular cliches. I know I have never uttered the phrases "It's not in my job description", "Shit happens", "It is what it is". And secondly, I did things outside of my job description for more times than I could remember, over the years.

So I challenged one of the evaluators to point to an instance in where I did such a thing. He replied: "It's not that you actually did do it, it is more of the perception that you might do it.  This is what it is to be tagged for a "potential event."

I do wonder if one of those "domestic plots"  thwarted resulted in the   conviction (after 3 trials!) of the  pathetic Liberty City 7 in Florida.Liberty City Seven.  Yeah, they got the FBI informants to buy them boots for their rag-tag "army", but lacked operational capability to blow up the Sears Tower. Because they were dirt poor (and black, I believe) in one of the poorest cities in this country.

Collen Rowley, another "whistleblower," tried to put 2 +2 together before 9/11.
was thwarted by the FBI. And one might conclude that the FBI was lackadaisial in the case of the Tsarnevs.

The genuine fear is that the algorithms used to tease patterns out of metadata will end up hurting innocent people and be blind to the more obvious.

It is somewhat similar of accusing a person with Tourette's of profanity.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site