Mudcat Café message #3536465 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151099   Message #3536465
Posted By: GUEST
11-Jul-13 - 05:50 PM
Thread Name: BS: The NSA Scandal/Snowden
Subject: RE: BS: The NSA Scandal/Snowden
There's also the element of implicit trust in this situation.

If a secret US agency first denies that no gathering of metadata on US citizens is going on, then after a whistleblower produces evidence that such is not the case the agency says, "Oh but it's only telephone numbers and not content," who's to say that aforesaid agency isn't lying about that also? Perhaps another whistleblower, and then the fun begins anew.

It can't be proven one way or another until someone with enough cojones is willing to step forward and call bullshit on the lying. Until then, the NSA never has to be accountable to anyone over anything (oh sure, there are oversight committees, but they can probably be persuaded to ignore questionable practices, "in the interest of national security").

Journalists with an interest in protecting the confidentiality of their sources probably doubt that there's no intelligence gathering of content, and it would be safe to assume that more than than a few of them are concerned that their First Amendment right to "Freedom of the Press" is being violated (for a good discussion of journalism and national security, see "National Security and the Press: The Government's Ability to Prosecute Journalists for the Possession or Publication of National Security Information" by D.A. Silver, available as a downloadable pdf file from the University of Pennsylvania).

As that eloquent orator and former President of the United States George W. Bush once said: "Fool me once, shame on shame on you. Fool me you can't get fooled again."

Or more to the point, former President Ronald Reagan: "Trust, but verify."