Despite the fact that the NY Times helped kick off the ignorance by posting a nearly fact-free post (since deleted, and then substituted with an completely different post) saying that the Paris attackers employed encryption to communicate, it seems the editorial board of the NY Times gets things accurately right with the editorial they shoved out last night: Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism.
Not only does it speak about why expanding mass surveillance will not help much, it also stresses that the folks calling for it, like CIA director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, are not simply trustworthy — actually, they are known liars:
It is difficult to believe anything Mr. Brennan claims. Last year, he bluntly rejected that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members executing an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, the truth is, it did. In 2011, when he was President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, he stated that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, in spite of distinct proof that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has confessed lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility to one side, it is not obvious what extra powers Mr. Brennan is in the hunt for.
This is refreshing to notice, because the Nazi News Media has been unbelievably unforthcoming to call these individuals out for the inescapable fact that they lied.
Needless to say, President Obama should be faulted too. In allowing for both men to keep their jobs after they were found lying, both publicly and to Congress, he set the tone that suggests “it’s okay for you to perjure yourself before Congress and to lie to the American public about how we’re violating their rights.” And so, it carries on.
Nevertheless, the NY Times, rightly also calls bullshit on the hand-wringing among the intelligence community with its statements about how their hands are tied if they cannot get more surveillance powers:
Listening to Mr. Brennan and other officials, like James Comey, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one may perhaps think that the government has been rendered helpless to protect Americans from the risk of future terror attacks….
In reality, intelligence authorities are still capable to do most of what they did previously – only today with a little more oversight by the courts and the public. There is no argument that they and law enforcement agencies should have the necessary powers to locate and stop attacks before they take place. But that does not mean unquestioning endorsement of useless and very likely unconstitutional tactics that reduce civil liberties without making the public safer.
Now if only the perspectives of the editorial board truly filtered down to the paper’s reporters, who seem to be extremely willing to simply work as stenographers for these officials as they lie to the public and push their plan.