Dianne Feinstein Defends NSA Spying Because… Well, She Isn’t Sure

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Rolling coverage of the ongoing government shutdown has pushed news of the myriad scandals which plagued the Administration of Barack Obama just a month ago from the front page of the American news psyche. But an op-ed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the Sunday edition of The Wall Street Journal  makes clear that, while the government may be shut down, America’s leaders are intent on justifying the continuance of their transgressions against the American public.

In her piece, Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, set about telling Americans why the publically unpopular National Security Agency data collection efforts revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden are important in protecting the Nation against terror attacks.

Her attempt to justify the massive privacy intrusions carried out by the NSA can be broken down into a few sections which strike at what appear to be her two main points: The world is full of terrorists, and the NSA works.

Here are some key points of Feinstein’s argument in her piece “The NSA’s Watchfulness Protects America: If today’s call-records program had been in place in before 9/11, the terrorist attacks likely would have been prevented.”

Feinstein’s Thesis

My answer: The program—which collects phone numbers and the duration and times of calls, but not the content of any conversations, names or locations—is necessary and must be preserved if we are to prevent terrorist attacks.

Terror!

Feinstein argues that intrusive government surveillance could have averted the 9/11 terror attacks. She also notes other attacks that the government claims to have thwarted with its data collection efforts in the years since 9/11.

In the summer of 2001, the CIA’s then-director, George Tenet, painted a dire picture for members of the Senate Intelligence Committee when he testified about the terrorist threat posed by al Qaeda. As Mr. Tenet later told the 9/11 Commission, “the system was blinking red” and by late July of that year, it could not “get any worse.”

A similar level of concern emerged in July 2013, when the Senate Intelligence Committee was briefed on the al Qaeda threat that led the State Department to close an unprecedented 19 American diplomatic facilities across Africa and the Middle East.

But, as one Gawker writer points out, “Huh. So… the CIA did issue dire warnings prior to 9/11, although the NSA’s program was not in place at that time. This directly contradicts Feinstein’s point about the necessity of the NSA’s phone spying. Paging the editing department.”

The NSA Says The Program Works

Working in combination, the call-records database and other NSA programs have aided efforts by U.S. intelligence agencies to disrupt terrorism in the U.S. approximately a dozen times in recent years, according to the NSA. This summer, the agency disclosed that 54 terrorist events have been interrupted—including plots stopped and arrests made for support to terrorism. Thirteen events were in the U.S. homeland and nine involved U.S. persons or facilities overseas. Twenty-five were in Europe, five in Africa and 11 in Asia.

These figures show that the NSA programs are a key component of our counterterrorism efforts at home and abroad because they develop intelligence for our allies about terrorists operating within their borders.

In other words, “who’s watching the watchers” doesn’t apply here. The NSA says it works, so it must work.

Oh Yeah, and… Terror!!!

The U.S. must remain vigilant against terrorist attacks against the homeland. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered the world’s most capable and dangerous terrorist organization, is determined to attack the United States. As we have seen since the “underwear bomber” attempted to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, AQAP has developed nonmetallic bombs that can elude airport screeners, and the organization’s expert bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, remains at large.

Evil doers with nonmetallic bombs, therefore spying on all Americans warranted.

A Couple of Things Left Unmentioned in Feinstein’s NSA Defense

  • The Boston Marathon Bombing
  • The Attacks On the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya
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  • JRR

    Or because, well … she is personally protected from government invasion of her privacy.

    • Karll

      She’s been in office so long she’s lost all touch with reality.

      Please retire or, better yet, drop dead soon, Dianne.

      • Michigan_REB

        Heaven doesn’t want her and the Devil doesn’t want the compation.

        • Vis Fac

          No I think the proper terminology is Heaven doesn’t want her and Satan is afraid she’ll take over.

          If you like me I am in your heart If you hate me I got to you and am on your mind and own you.

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est
          Semper-Fi

  • 10-Nov-1775

    I am for it because I do not know what it does. Yeah Diane.

    • Vis Fac

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi Fellow Marine!!

  • Nowell Sanders

    Over blotted bureaucratic agencies, whether they are the NSA, CIA, FBI, TFA, or whatever initials it uses, will only add to our extreme debt and confuse the compilation of intelligence. Also, it will eventually lead to competition between the various agencies for budget increases! It is ironic that the current government finds excuses for spying on our own citizens while allowing anyone who wants to come across our borders illegally and unneeded! It is ironic that we allow the very enemies, that have sworn to murder Americans, to be allowed to live in this country and even protect their right to spew hatred and murderous threats within the many mosques that are increasingly built in the USA!!!

    • Karll

      Exactly. These radical ME monkeys can’t hurt us unless we let them into the country! And we continue to do so! With open arms!

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    “The U.S. must remain vigilant against terrorist attacks against the homeland. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered the world’s most capable and dangerous terrorist organization, is determined to attack the United States”. And we are arming AQ, WHY? Everyone who voted for this STUPID move should face charges of Treason!

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    “The U.S. must remain vigilant against terrorist attacks against the homeland. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered the world’s most capable and dangerous terrorist organization, is determined to attack the United States”. And we are arming AQ, WHY? Everyone who voted for this STUPID move should face charges of Treason! They have been on our enemy list since the 1990’s!

  • Einstein

    This is not true:

    But, as one Gawker writer points out, “Huh. So… the CIA did
    issue dire warnings prior to 9/11, although the NSA’s program was not in
    place at that time. This directly contradicts Feinstein’s point about
    the necessity of the NSA’s phone spying. Paging the editing department.”

    NSA is just an evelution of Clinton’s Echelon, that failed to prevent 9/11.

  • Nana Monster

    If you REALLY want an eyeopener type in Boston Marathon Hoax and see what unfurls. I have to admit I as a sceptic until I watched the video clips there. Please check it out and you may see a martial law training session in the works.

  • Hank

    She really should go back to the Farm !!

  • lakeside227

    Her mind has no connection to reality AT ALL!

  • Karll

    Dianne Feinstein is an imperious old hag. Die soon, Dianne!

  • Karll

    The Patriot Act was a tremendous mistake. A population should NEVER give it’s government that much power over individual freedoms for ANY reason because the government will ALWAYS abuse it.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

  • denise0513

    Dianne Feinstein failed to disclose that the NSA must focus their attention to the White House, Senate Bldg, House of Representatives, CIA, Pentagon, Federal Reserve and other established government buildings for there lies the terrorists!

  • Peggy

    What is it about Calif, that they have NO intelligent people who reside there? Or do they just think that sending women without a clue is politically correct thing to do. Pelosi, championed obamacare saying, we will just have to pass it to find out what is in it, and now this one defends spying on Americans because, well she doesn’t really know. History will not be kind when it speaks of the spineless whimps we are becoming.

    • Libertarian Soldier

      Its the latter. Women vote for women and women vote for obama, generally. Democrat men are controlled by women and gay men might as well be, generally

    • jdamsforall

      History will be most graphic in relating the punishment of these communist pervs!! Jesus has alot of animals to feed and communists are the perfect blend of nutrients and electrolytes to produce good healthy strong animals and in the excrement the soils will be re fortified to produce good crops for Jesus’s children communist carcasses shall cover the entire surface of this earth they shall be neither lamented nor buried but will dung on the face of the earth pelosi,obama,feinstein,biden,holder,jarrett,jackson,sharpton,,lee et al ..will all be turned into animal [expletive deleted] and become very high quality soil

  • Jim B

    Privacy is a funny thing, to the government! Need I say more.

  • Dajeno

    What I don’t get is if they don’t collect the content of any conversations, names or locations how th hell can they catch the bad guys. They must think the citizens of this country are as dumb as they are.

  • jdamsforall

    George W Bush was responsible for the directives to place the massive thermite grenades on the four main support pillars in both towers ,the unmanned “military jets” that hit the towers were a front ….alQaeda is part of the cia and obama is funding them the us is a communist nation of perversion and conquest and Jesus is going to soon destroy it from off the face of this earth obama is communist and gay and the Angels destroyedSodom and Gomorrah are on this earth and in this nation and that means it is already too late destruction can no longer be averted repentance for many has already been withdrawn “Atlanta shall fall just like Jericho” it is black supremacist and exceedingly perverted and evil Jesus commanded Joshua to kill everything that breaths in Jericho