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    enemy of the people

    Milbank

    The FISA court itself colluded in the secrecy. After senators asked the court to provide declassified summaries of its decisions, the chief FISA judge, Reggie B. Walton, responded with a letter on March 27 citing “serious obstacles” to the request.

    “It was a shoddy performance all around,” Aftergood said Monday. “The pervasive secrecy on this topic created an information vacuum. If congressional oversight was not going to fill it in, it turned out leaks would. That’s not the optimal solution.”

    Not optimal, but probably inevitable. Officials who denied the public a responsible debate on surveillance will now have a debate on Snowden’s terms — and there’s no use in bellyaching about it.

    Bloomberg News editors:
    Snowden’s case highlights the difficulty, if not impossibility, of debating U.S. national security policy in this age of ubiquitous technology: How do you build informed public consent for surveillance when the only people who know about those programs can’t talk about them? And without the public’s consent, how can those programs be legitimate in a democratic society?
    Those questions aren’t new, but Snowden’s revelations give them new importance. Those who think what he did was wrong need to do more than just criticize his actions. The goal should be to make it easier for others like him to follow their consciences without breaking the law. And we need to have the public debate that Snowden concluded was lacking -- a point that can’t reasonably be contested, even by his angriest detractors.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 05:35:36 AM PDT

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