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Please begin with an informative title:

First I have to get this off my chest. I am pissed. If one more person tells me to or even implies that I should sit down and STFU I'm not likely to deal with them in a generous manner.

I feel better now.

In an editorial today entitled The NSA’s Alarming Misbehavior the Bloomberg editorial board has this to say:

Increasingly, all this looks like a fool’s game. The system of supervision simply isn’t working. As the Post report notes, the NSA’s oversight staff has quadrupled in recent years, yet the rate of infractions keeps increasing. Even the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court -- the secret body putatively in charge of making sure the NSA follows the law -- has admitted that the court can’t verify what the agency says and thus can’t provide full oversight over it.

There’s one branch of the government that can, and that’s Congress. Congressional inquiries are not always the most high-minded affairs. But we’ve reached the point where an expansive, intrusive and transparent investigation -- modeled on that of the Church Committee in the 1970s -- may be the best way to fully protect Americans’ security and privacy. If NSA officials find themselves under uncomfortably public and revealing scrutiny, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.


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).

Personally, I favor Jennifer Granick's call for a Special Prosecutor. If Congress is allowed to deal with the problem they may give those at fault immunity and we could well find someone like Poindexter getting a get out of jail free card as happened on the Iran/Contra scandal. The mention of Poindexter is relevant here since he was the architect for the Total Information Awareness program which we thought we had shut down in 2003. It appears we did not.

In the event we appoint either a select committee or a special prosecutor the period under investigation should go back to around 1978. We need to know the background and justification for Gen. Hayden's decision to scrap the working prototype of ThinThread and replace it with the Trailblazer Project. That was the critical point at which we decided to collect haystacks instead of needles and to discard the safeguards inherent in the former.

Should we go with a select committee, there are a few people I would like to see in the staff: William Binney, Thomas Andrews Drake, J. Kirk Wiebe, and Ed Loomis. Senators Udall and Wyden should co-chair that committee.

Now, do we have any candidates for a special prosecutor?

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Just Bob on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by The First and The Fourth.

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