Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is pictured on Capitol Hill in Washington February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Harry "See no evil" Reid
The head of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander, testified before a Senate committee Wednesday, defending his agency's massive phone and internet surveillance programs, and saying that the leaks of those programs have done "great harm" to the nation's security. Alexander said in particular that dozens of terrorist attacks here and abroad were thwarted by the program.

Two member of the Senate Intelligence Committee aren't buying it.

Mark Udall and Ron Wyden, both members of the Senate intelligence committee, said they were not convinced by the testimony of the NSA director, General Keith Alexander, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, who claimed that evidence gleaned from surveillance helped thwart attacks in the US.

"We have not yet seen any evidence showing that the NSA's dragnet collection of Americans' phone records has produced any uniquely valuable intelligence," they said in a statement released on Thursday ahead of a widely anticipated briefing for US senators about the National Security Agency's activities. [...]

"Gen Alexander's testimony yesterday suggested that the NSA's bulk phone records collection program helped thwart 'dozens' of terrorist attacks, but all of the plots that he mentioned appear to have been identified using other collection methods," Wyden and Udall said in a statement. "The public deserves a clear explanation."

We've clearly got a problem in the Senate and with its oversight role here. Majority Leader Harry Reid says there's nothing to see here, and has chastened his members. He says essentially it's the senators' own fault if they feel they haven't been fully informed on this programs, because "they've had every opportunity to be aware of these programs."

Well, here are two members of the Intelligence Committee who have been briefed as fully as anyone on these programs, and they haven't heard enough. Or they haven't heard enough of the truth.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:29 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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