Finding Balance With the NSA
The latest NSA "revelations" are underwhelming.
The big news this week in Spookville is that the National Security Agency (NSA) – one of the many three-letter covert organizations comprising the “loose collection of federal agencies and parts of agencies that make up the Intelligence Community,” as the 9/11 Commission phrased it – may have played a key role in – gasp! – a “U.S. assassination program.” Well of course it has. Why wouldn’t one of the functions of an effective intelligence program be to identify, locate and track “assassination” targets so that they can be dispatched with extreme prejudice?
Of course, one must be careful not to overplay the term “assassination.” At first blush it might be easy, for instance, to equate that term with rogue, international, criminal acts. But this is not necessarily the case, by any means. To be blunt, many unlawful enemy combatants against the U.S. are more than worthy of “assassination” … at the very least. Sophisticated intelligence programs like those of the NSA help to clear the world’s well of pond scum like those who committed the horror of 9/11.
At the same time, we share the concerns of those who worry that the NSA has become too powerful and too unaccountable. This is the age-old problem of balancing liberty and security. Our concern is not abated when either of two primary hidden-agenda forces – the media and Congress – interjects itself into such a debate, as both have, just this week. The former is responsible for the synthetic outrage accompanying the “revelation” that intelligence operations might actually play a role in combat operations. The latter has decided that justifiable public outrage over NSA access to domestic phone call data warrants the congressional job-security-enhancing measure of severely curtailing NSA operations, independent of ample sworn testimony to the contrary of such a measure.
For our part, we’re all for ensuring that the NSA operates within its lane – especially while operating under the aegis of the current Executive Branch clown act. But given Congress’ anti-Midas Touch – that is, the ability to turn everything it touches to crap – we are exceedingly leery of any national-security-related “fix” it proposes, especially when backed wholeheartedly as it is by the treason-lobby, a.k.a. Democrats. Maybe in this instance, leaving bad-enough alone is the better answer.