OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Color me not reassured.

In a desperate attempt to quell public concerns over wide-reaching surveillance programs revealed by The Guardian U.K. and Washington Post a little over a week ago:

Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries – and that gathered data is destroyed every five years.

Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA in one of the programs, the intelligence officials said in arguing that the programs are far less sweeping than their detractors allege.

Um, would that be potential actual terrorist plots - or - would that be the potential terrorist plots facilitated by the FBI using documented tactics that include the entrapment encouragement of unwitting dissidents who would otherwise lack both the wherewithal and the knowledge needed to pull off a real terrorist plot?
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

No other new specific details about the plots or the countries involved were included in the declassified information released to Congress on Saturday and subsequently made public by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Intelligence officials said they were working to declassify "the dozens of plots" NSA Director Keith Alexander said were disrupted by the programs during a congressional hearing last week. The director said he was trying to show Americans the value of the programs but they needed to make certain they don't "inadvertently" reveal the real reasons parts of the U.S. counter-terrorism "playbook" in the process.

Dozens of non-specific plots?

I'd be remiss not to mention at this point the fact that the day after revelations detailing the scope of the programs were released, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers announced the disruption of one terrorism plot could be attributed to the programs efficacy. The chairman released no details of the plot at the time.

Wouldn't it be logical to assume that the chairman would have known about more than one foiled terrorism plot at the time he made his statement last week? Or, is the NSA keeping Congress in the dark too?

In addition to heated public debate, the disclosures have sparked legal action against the administration by privacy activists like the ACLU, the Electronic Privacy Center and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

HuffPo has the story:

Intelligence officials said Saturday that both NSA programs are reviewed every 90 days by the secret court authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under the program, the records, showing things like time and length of call, can only be examined for suspected connections to terrorism, they said.

The officials offered more detail on how the phone records program helped the NSA stop a 2009 al-Qaida plot to blow up New York City subways. They say the program helped them track a co-conspirator of al-Qaida operative Najibullah Zazi – though it's not clear why the FBI needed the NSA to investigate Zazi's phone records because the FBI would have had the authority to gather records of Zazi's phone calls after identifying him as a suspect, rather than relying on the sweeping collection program. (emphasis mine)

In my view, this is a lame attempt to reassure Americans that the government is using the collection of the electronic data of all Americans judiciously and strictly to monitor terrorist threats. My question is why did it take so long to release non-specific information on both the number of plots foiled, and when, where and who were involved in them?

Why couldn't they be more specific with over a week to sort it out? It's not like they didn't have ALL the information they needed.

They report. You decide.

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.