NSA Can’t Say Anything About Anything, It Would Help ‘Adversaries’

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Shortly after the National Security Agency spy scandal broke, ProPublica journalist Jeff Larson filed a freedom of information request with the agency seeking any personal data it had collected on him.

While he didn’t expect a response, he received a Glomar response—neither a confirmation nor denial that the information he was seeking existed. The reasoning explained for the Glomar response is simply baffling.

In a letter to Larson, Chief NSA FOIA Officer Pamela Phillips wrote:

Any positive or negative response on a request-by-request basis would allow our adversaries to accumulate information and draw conclusions about the NSA’s technical capabilities, sources, and methods.

Our adversaries are likely to evaluate all public responses related to these programs.

Were we to provide positive or negative responses to requests such as yours, our adversaries’ compilation of the information provided would reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

The letter goes on to offer boilerplate justifications for its data collection efforts.

But the question remains for many Americans: Who does the NSA classify as an “adversary”?

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

  • vicki

    We know who they classify as an adversary. The DHS already released that information. More than once.

  • Weasel71

    As a 63 year old retired military Tea Party Constitutional Conservative, I have a target painted on the back of all my shirts so they won’t have to strain to take aim.

  • mathis1689

    Who does the NSA classify as an adversary? Simple. They classify anyone as an adversary who does,thinks, or says anything that is in any way,shape form or fashion critical of the Communist dictatorship that we’re currently cursed with. With that being said I hope they are enjoying reading this.

  • wandamurline

    We all need to file for our information through the Information Act….overwhelm the hell out of this unconstitutional department….if 200 million Americans wrote them and filed for the information they had on each and every one of us, it would overwhelm this agency….which it should.

    • Debbie Hogan Tate

      That is a very good idea! Lets try to make that happen!

      • guest

        i think annonymous got in trouble for something similar

  • Carol Remington

    better hide ur savings

  • foxxybey

    What the NSA really means, to we give our spying away and we can’t do that because we are guilty.

  • Oldmonkey

    I can’t help but wonder what Snowden has on Obama? Bet it is explosive! Using dual nationality being a crappy student to get in a radical liberal Ivy? How about his college transcripts at Yale, and his friends? Bet Chicago wasn’t the only place he went to gay bathhouses. What matters is honesty and other than Wanting to be king, he has none

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    I wish what ever he has on Obama he would make it public soon!!

  • guest

    right now Christians and Jews are not adversaries but soon will be as not authentic humans
    what the NSA is collecting will be used at that time against us
    but for now what they are collecting is too much for them to handle so, short of visions of grandeur and paranoia run rampant, chances are they have collected everything you ever did since you first took breath but you are not important enough for them to get the computer to spit the collected data out for review
    So unless you are a Christian or Jew who loves this life more than what has been promised what the NSA is doing is keeping you and others safe
    in a nonintrusive spying way as opposed to physical embarrassing searches at the points of transits
    now the NSA should be checked like the police check on each other to prevent abuse
    but overall look up for your redemption draws nigh

  • SGT USMC

    LAW ABIDING CITIZENS ARE TARGETED AS ADVERSARIES, I DON,T TRUST THE NSA, CIA ,FBI ,FEMA, THEY ARE JUST LIKE THE IRS, AUDIT THEM ALL.

    • runnindeer

      Lately I don’t trust any of the folks that have anything to do with the Government. Not one. When we had President George W. in office I actually felt safe in America and had respect for the country. Now I respect the people that gave their lives for what this country was. I respect those that put their lives on line daily to try to keep us safe and free. But I have more respect for a rabid dog than I do for those in the Democrat party and the White House as well as those that are doing O’s will.

    • Vis Fac

      Eliminate them all! Semper-Fi

  • Libertarian58

    “National Security” is nothing but a curtain for the crooks in DC to hide behind while violating every principle of liberty and the constitution. Our ridiculous foreign policy has been used as a tool to create an endless supply of “enemies” to justify all the tyrannical activity against American citizens. And these are the people calling Snowden a traitor??

  • Randy131

    Nobody can deny that what the NSA was doing, that Snowden revealed, is against the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution, and therefore against the law. Obama claimed that the law of the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ (DOMA) is unconstitutional, just as is what the NSA was doing under the ‘Patriot Act’ (PA), and Obama ordered Eric Holder and the ‘Department of Justice’ (DOJ) not to enforce DOMA because of his claim, so why not do the same for what the NSA was doing under the PA for the same reason that Obama used and gave about not enforcing DOMA? The whole matter boils down to whether we, as Americans, want our government to break our laws for the excuse of keeping us safe and secure, or whether by our government breaking our laws already makes us unsafe and unsecure?

    Snowden took two oaths that were in conflict with each other, first an oath to the US Constitution, and second an oath to keep secret what the NSA had him doing, which was to break our laws and violate the US Constitution. He finally made a decision as to which oath he was going to honor, and in doing so gave up his life of living in Hawaii with his pole dancing girlfriend, making $200,000.00 a year, and probably his freedom, which is a pretty big sacrifice to honor your oath and word.

    Now it seems that those who discredit Snowden the most, call him a traitor, and want him prosecuted and sent to prison, are the same people who took the same oath to the US Constitution and were informed of what the NSA was doing in breaking our laws, but gave their approval and did nothing, and those are the elected members of our Congress and all others that were employed by the NSA, who decided their benefits from the NSA was worth much more than honoring their oath to the US Constitution.

    So is Snowden a hero or a whistleblower, or maybe both?

    To any and all real American Patriots that understand how important the US Constitution is to their rights and freedoms, Snowden is definitely a ‘HERO’, and certainly not a traitor, and to understand why he left the USA to a country that would make his apprehension difficult for US authorities, one only has to be reminded how the head of the NSA, just weeks prior to what Snowden revealed, lied to a Congressional Committee when asked about this very same act of violating the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution by the NSA. One should ask himself how anyone could trust those who lie to Congress, for doing the same thing one wants to come forward and be a whistleblower about, if they would then be treated fairly by those same liars who are the authority you would have to go to in order to be that whistleblower? Then you may understand why Snowden left the country to become that whistleblower and ‘Hero’, setting a high standard for all American Patriots!