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View Diary: Sources: Obama could release secret NSA court order (102 comments)

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  •  You're speculating . .. (3+ / 0-)
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    doroma, NonnyO, greenbell

    which is the whole point, I think. Why was this a secret in the first place? The more we know, the fewer questions we'll have, obviously, since you can already ask those questions.

    •  In practice... (1+ / 0-)
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      you don't tell your enemies a whole lot about your capabilities.  They use such information to circumvent them.

      When Reagan played the cockpit tapes of the Russian Pilot during the KAL shootdown, the intelligence community was livid.  It blew the top off the Soviet lies, by actually playing a chilling audio, but it also taught the soviets for free exactly what we were capable of.

      Unsurprisingly, our Kamchatka listening post went deaf within a month.  Did the Russians get the better side of that bargain?  An issue debated for quite a while, until mooted by the collapse of the SU.

      •  True enough, as far as it goes... (2+ / 0-)
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        shaharazade, deep info

        But then again, the implicit result of this analogy is that every individual in the United States is viewed by the NSA as an enemy.

        •  Every individual is a potential enemy (2+ / 0-)
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          greenbell, deep info

          Every individual is a potential  enemy if s/he decides, a la Tsarnaev, to make that turn. The same holds if some individual anarchist decides to assassinate and official, and if collections of individuals wish seriously to overthrow the government (militias, e.g.).

          I thought a lot of this was for 'historical' purposes of reconstructing the linkages after a crime. Maybe I'm wrong. That seems an important tool.

          But I imagine in the hands of a Cheney it could too easily be used to go after specific individuals. (Oh, wait, he did, didn't he?) The technology is there, and unless the public rises up and demands extraordinary safeguards against abuse, it will remain available to anyone with access, even the lowly Mr. Snowden.

      •  This would be the same Soviet Union (3+ / 0-)
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        MyMy, shaharazade, deep info

        that the CIA was unable to tell was on the brink of collapse?  You mean that Soviet Union?  

        One thing we can count on, the intelligence agencies can collect data on 300,000,000 Americans but they won't be able to tell when every last member of Al Qaeda is long gone.  But hey, it wouldn't be in their self-interest to discover that we have no enemies.  Better to make every American their enemy instead.

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