General Keith B. Alexander in service uniform by Wikipedia
NSA Director General Keith Alexander
On Thursday evening, NSA Director General Keith Alexander gave a talk before the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs.
As I read an account of the talk by Sun reporter Carrie Wells in today's Baltimore Sun entitled, "Director of NSA defends its methods" it has to be said bluntly and to the point; obfuscation, dissembling and outright lying were the hallmark of the general's remarks.
To wit he said he was looking for "better ways" to conduct surveillance stating "I'm not wedded to these programs" and "There is nothing that anyone from the NSA or Cyber Command has done that is wrong", (this presumably made with a straight face).
When a Maryland State Senator Jim Rosepepe asked Alexander how he justified the tapping of phones of world leaders the general responded, "I would actually turn it around and say, I think there's a better way to do it. We can look at some of these and say, some of this is not needed to defend the nation". Ah, no kidding general, but what kind of an answer was that to the state senator's question?
Alexander went on to relate terrorism and cyber security gaps remain the greatest threats to the U.S. then went on to criticize the whistleblowing of Edward Snowden and the media that published Snowden's authenticated accounts saying they harmed the nations security, its companies and relationships with allies and the NSA programs are misunderstood by the public as "Snowden misinterpreted the way we work". No general, it is the NSA's actions that have harmed the nations security, harmed companies earnings with "back door" entry into software sold to foreign clients, harmed relationships with "allies" by bugging their leaders cell phones as well as their people without any justification.
But there you have it.
This confirmed liar, who before the revelations by Snowden began to come to light this past summer, had testified before Congressional committees stating, "We don't conduct surveillance of Americans," when in truth we now know Alexander DID lie to Congress (which by the way is a felony) and last night he's still coming up with the same sorry disclaimer, "There is nothing that anyone from the NSA has done that is wrong". Please.
Now there are many questions regarding Alexander as well as National security Director James Clapper but here a few that go directly to the matter:
- Why haven't they been fired?
- Why haven't they been charged with a felony for lying to Congress?
- And why have they been allowed to continue giving testimony to groups such as the Baltimore Council of Foreign Affairs when it's been confirmed they have been lying?
From here there could be a fear within the Obama administration that if one or both men were axed, they could expose Obama and other members of his staff of being in on and authorized all the malfeasance conducted by the NSA and could therefore face impeachment proceedings for what they authorized. That's pure speculation of course but it makes perfect sense.
Look at former Director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover who remained the director long after he should have been let go but was allowed to stay on presumably because he had scandalous information he clandestinely obtained on those in the White House which if revealed could bring a president down.
Here's the rub; when wrong-full, illegal policies and actions are carried out by those who authorized them and not held to account the whole edifice is rotten to the core.
It's why Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, ex President George W. Bush et al were (are) given an unwritten pardon by then new President Barack Obama who offered the lame, "We need to move on and not relive the past", thus exonerating the former administration miscreants from facing prosecution for the crimes they committed.
That's the state of our nation folks and why the flag should be flown upside down as the sign of it being in distress.