Thursday, September 26, 2013

NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander slams 'sensationalized' reporting

Bee's note:  
Well, General Alexander makes some great points, but unfortunately this administration has been caught with their hands in the "cookie jar" more than once, spying and intimidating American citizens.  The scandals, in spite of what Obama says, are NOT "phony"; and unless the United States has incorporated laws that would make Hitler's pre-WWII laws and intimidation envious, Washington does need to get a grip on what is and is not intelligence to keep America safe from terrorists.  
IRS, another federal program that used its power before elections of 2012, is another example of abuse of power, as they targeted American citizens not affiliated with the "Obama" gang of liberals and sheep.
Sorry, General, but you can cry a river of tears and Americans refuse to accept what is happening under Obama's "watch".  Intelligence has nothing to do with an overbearing, anti-Constitutional agenda from this so-called "transparent" White House.  

Gen. Keith Alexander is pictured. | John Shinkle/POLITICO
He says NSA doesn't listen to Americans’ phone calls or read their emails. | John Shinkle/POLITICO
The leader of the embattled National Security Agency doubled down Wednesday against calls from Capitol Hill to restrict U.S. government surveillance programs — a campaign he attributed to “sensationalized” reporting and “media leaks.”
On the same day that key Senate lawmakers pledged to bring new oversight to the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander mounted a public defense of his agency: He stressed the intelligence community isn’t “listening to Americans’ phone calls and reading their emails,” and he urged technology and government leaders to help “get the facts out” and “get our nation to understand why we need these tools” in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures.
Speaking at a cybersecurity conference in Washington, Alexander also commended companies for cooperating with the federal government, and he made a plea for more power — particularly to thwart terrorists who have elevated their activities to cyberspace.
“Over 950 people were killed in Kenya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan,” Alexander said at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit, referencing recent violence in the region, “and we’re discussing more esoteric things here. Why? Because we’ve stopped the terrorist attacks here.”

“We’ve been fortunate, and it’s not been luck,” the general continued. “It’s our military that’s out [front], and it’s our intelligence community back here. They can’t do it without tools. So we’re going to have a debate in this country: Do we give up those tools? I’m concerned we’ll make the wrong decision.”

Alexander gave the speech before attending a classified meeting with lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee — whose chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), just this Tuesday called for sweeping changes to the NSA’s surveillance powers.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and other lawmakers later unveiled their own blueprint for surveillance reform. The package would reform the secret court that authorizes government surveillance requests while limiting the NSA’s ability to collect U.S. phone call logs in bulk.

“It is designed to set a high bar and serve as a measure for true intelligence reform,” Wyden said at a news conference, emphasizing the proposed legislation is “not cosmetic.”