NSA Director Interviewed By Defense Department: NSA Not Spying, Americans Overreacting, Journalists Should Be Silenced

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In a spin-heavy interview with the Department of Defense’s “Armed With Science” blog last week, embattled National Security Agency head Gen. Keith Alexander said that Americans concerned about the NSA’s tactics are exaggerating, he denied that the NSA is involved in “spying” and he accused journalists reporting on the NSA of “selling” NSA secrets.

Alexander, in defending his agency’s practices, parroted many of the refrains officials have used repeatedly to justify the government’s actions following whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s data collection programs.

“When you look at the 9/11 commission, it faulted the intelligence community for not connecting the dots.  We didn’t have the tools,” he said. “These [programs we have now] are tools that help us connect the dots.  We have learned that lesson once.  We all vowed this would never happen again.  We should commit to that course of action.”

Later in the interview, Alexander and his government paid interviewer both conceded that the NSA is not involved in “spying” at any level.

Via “Armed With Science”:

So let’s take a look at some of the recent foreign intelligence programs that have been getting a lot of attention lately. You know the ones. You may have seen them in the news, often mislabeled as “spying programs”. Gen. Alexander is quick to correct this misnomer.

“They aren’t spying programs,” he says directly. “One is called the Business Records FISA Program, or Section 215, and the other is called the FISA Amendment Act 702 or PRISM.”

The business records program, or Section 215, is probably the most misunderstood of the two programs. The metadata program takes information and puts it in a data repository. Metadata is the phone number, the date, time, group, and duration of the call.

“That’s all we have,” Gen. Alexander explains. “We don’t have any names or any content.”

The second program is the PRISM program or FISA Amendment Act 702.  PRISM is a little bit different. PRISM is a content program. The program legally compels service providers to supply information to the government if there is an appropriate and documented foreign intelligence reason and the subject of interest is believed to be outside the U.S.

It also has to be one end foreign, not on U.S. persons, Gen. Alexander explains. This, of course, requires a lot of management and review. A lot.

While Alexander contended that the public has no reason to be outraged because the NSA is simply protecting the Nation from another 9/11, he certainly is not interested in Americans learning anything more about how the NSA operates. In fact, he said that he wants “courts and policymakers” to come up with a way to keep journalists from reporting on the NSA.

“I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000 — whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these — you know it just doesn’t make sense,” Alexander said, referring to the trove of NSA data made public by Snowden.

“We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on,” the NSA director continued.

Personal Liberty

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.

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  • Stephine

    “We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on,” the NSA director continued.”

    Wow does anyone see freedom of the press going bye bye with this statement. WTF this is beginning to sound more and more like a dictatorship. We will tell you what insurance to buy, what doctors are acceptable, what information the press can print. And oh if it doesn’t reflect well on us lets just ban it. F’ing government boneheads. Soon all this country will have is sheeple, no one producing anything no new ideas being born. A quick death to the American way our forefathers envisioned. Bet they are rolling over in their graves.

    • Dale H Brown

      From this General’s words l get the message that he is one of Obama’s Generals that would fire on American citizens—
      I don’t know if he is a pogie bait Officer or one that has seen combat, but maybe if people like him keep pushing the lies of this administration, he will end up seeing combat and I bet he will not like it at all–

  • squeeze127

    You can either dazzle with brilliance or baffle with BS. He is not dazzling here! Time to repeal the Patriot Act (another oxymoron law)

    • Vis Fac

      With the emphasis on MORON

      To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

      • squeeze127

        There is very little Patriotic about that Act.

        • Vis Fac

          Correction there is NOTHING Patriotic. You can bet that any name assigned by the government has the direct connotation affixed to it Patriot Affordable etc just more lies to scam to gain control over the American people not one shred of truth to any of those monikers !

          To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

          You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est
          Semper-Fi

          • squeeze127

            That was instituted by Bush, one of the many screw ups he did. Goes to show that both parties have the same agenda, just different ways to get there!

          • Vis Fac

            I haven’t seen a real GOP since the Reagan years. Everyone has an agenda the right tries to pander to the young people (ever wonder why DUMBOCRITES pushed for the 18 year olds to vote?) so the GOP has slid way left as if there is only one major party just having different logos.

            To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

            You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

            Libertas inaestimabilis res est
            Semper-Fi

          • squeeze127

            The old GOP people (McCain,McConnell, King, et al) caved in to the libturds points rather than take a stand. Now they degrade them to try and save the old way. One rule-two parties.

          • Vis Fac

            YUP !!!

  • Motov

    (From the article above)
    Alexander, in defending his agency’s practices, parroted many of the refrains officials have used repeatedly to justify the government’s actions following whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s data collection programs.

    “When you look at the 9/11 commission, it faulted the intelligence community for not connecting the dots. We didn’t have the tools,” he said. “These [programs we have now] are tools that help us connect the dots. We have learned that lesson once. We all vowed this would never happen again. We should commit to that course of action.”
    —————————————————————————————-
    The 9-11 commission is fiction, Their lame attempts to blame someone for an inside job is just sickening.
    Professional building demolition people all say the WTC was professionally imploded, The pentagon was never hit by a 757. Then just days later, The “Patriot Act” was passed While the rest of America were still in shock over the destruction, and the mass murder of 3,000 people.
    And worst thing about it is those who really masterminded this, got away with the crime of the century.

  • Alan

    Why should anyone believe anything that comes out of a corrupt, lying administration such as this one ? I’m sure the general would like to keep the journalists, and therefore the public, uninformed as to the unabated collection of data by the govt.

    • Karolyn

      Do you seriously believe that previous administrations have been pure as the driven snow? The only reason we know so much now is because we are deep within the information age. There are decades of info we do not have a clue about.

      • Alan

        No I don’t, but now we have that information about this bunch and it’s truly sickening.

    • Vis Fac

      The general wants to keep his job Lying is part of the criteria.

      To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

  • Quester55

    J.E.Hover predicted many years ago that this Nation would FALL if We Continued to Invent More & More WATCH-DOGS, To Oversee our citizen’s Lives!
    Check your World History, Nearly All Great & Dishonorable Rulers of their lands, Spied on their Subjects, until The citizens, Had enough 7 Disposed of Him. She or (in Obama’s case), ” IT” !

  • CORMAC___NJ

    What we are now seeing is a power struggle between the Obama administration and its former propagandists in the media.

    This started a few months back, with the tapping of the AP’s phone
    lines. You would think that the administration would be grateful for the
    fact that the MSM covered up 99% of their treason and incompetence.

    But no, the thin-skinned pansies in Obama’s camp couldn’t tolerate
    ANY negative reporting, so they slapped AP (and who knows who else). So
    journalists, already weary of endless self-censorship and facing
    legitimate criticism from honest Americans, started actually doing their
    jobs.

    That’s why we started seeing actual reporting in outlets like the
    NYT, WaPo and HuffPo, to name a few. Especially around Obamacare. As
    expected, the thugocracy would have no such thing, and stepped up their
    intimidation.

    The message to news media now is essentially “If you step out of
    line, we will go into your homes and take your materials.” It’s quite a
    bold step, and an obvious signal that the relationship between Obama and
    the mainstream media has fundamentally changed.

    The problem for Obama are two:

    1. Public sentiment has changed, and it’s not going to change back.
    MSM has to be more aggressive, or no one will watch, listen to or read
    their reporting.Between alternative news outlets and social media, the
    public no longer has to drink bad-tasting kool-aid.

    2. The MSM has a huge back-log of unreported, under-reported and
    mis-reported news that would be grossly damaging to the administration,
    should they begin reporting it. The 60 minutes report on Benghazi is
    great example, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

    Expect this to get VERY ugly. As the administration escalates its
    intimidation tactics, we will see more than just legalistic attempts to silence journalists. Reporters will be dragged from their homes,
    turning up dead with signs of torture, and disappearing mysteriously.
    Their families won’t be safe either.

    Conversely, shocking reports about administration (and Democrat)
    crimes and malfeasance will appear in major news outlets. Make no
    mistake, what conservative media has been able to dig up is nothing
    compared to what the MSM has been hiding.

    Where will it end? My personal belief is that Obama and his band of
    traitors will get perp-walked out of the White House, but not before the
    Democrats take unprecedented measure to divert and distract. You
    thought Clinton’s bombing of a band-aid factory was extreme, these
    monsters would bomb half the country to hang on to power, Plus they like
    to see Americans suffer anyway.

    Stock up on pop-corn news-watchers. The big show is just getting started!