03 Nov

Five Infuriating Quotes from Politicians About the NSA

5 Infuriating Quotes from Politicians About the NSA

With recent revelations of the NSA spying on allied countries, helping itself to Google and Yahoo’s databases and maybe even eavesdropping on the Pope, it seems like the damaging leaks won’t stop coming for the “security” agency. Nevertheless, leave it to some embarrassing U.S. politicians for standing by their flawed spy program with some asinine statements. Here are five quotes from key American figures who prioritize protecting the NSA over the privacy rights and reputation of the country:

1. Representative Mike Rogers, Republican from Michigan

“If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It’s a good thing.”

Yeah, France, why not try thanking the NSA for invading your privacy. If it’s the case that France would positively support the NSA’s spying with more information, why does it continue to keep such a lovable program a secret from the French people?

2. General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA

“I think it’s wrong that newspaper reporters have all these documents… and are selling them and giving them out… We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and policymakers, but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on.”

Talk about passing the buck — the leader of the NSA is claiming that journalists are the problem. His stance is that it’s wrong for reporters to tell the truth about what the government is doing, even though freedom of the press is one of the nation’s founding principles. How dare journalists take private information from the NSA… which is in the business of taking private information from others.
3. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina

“I’m glad that the NSA is trying to find out what the terrorists are up to overseas and in our country. I’m glad that activity is going on, but it is limited to tracking people who are suspected to be terrorists and who they may be talking to… Yes, I am sure that that’s what they’re doing.”

This summer, Senator Graham urged the public to join him in celebrating the NSA. The fact that he was “sure” the tracking is confined to terrorism suspects is even more interesting now that it’s common knowledge that the NSA’s powers extend way beyond that limited scope. If all Senators had been briefed on NSA activities as we were told, shouldn’t he have been more confident?

4. Representative Peter King, Republican from New York

“The president should stop apologizing, stop being defensive. The reality is the NSA has saved thousand of lives – not just in the United States, but also in France and Germany and throughout Europe.”

King is offended at the notion that Obama would try to placate foreign leaders after they’ve learned we’ve tapped their phone lines and read their emails. There’s no need to apologize for spying on your allies! Realistically, though, if there is any evidence that the NSA has in fact saved thousands of lives here and abroad, why would that information not have been made public by now to smooth over relations?

5. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California

“I am not a high-tech techie, but I have been told that is not possible.”

When Edward Snowden reported that he had the ability to wiretap anyone, Feinstein claimed that it couldn’t be done. Feinstein provided Congressional oversight for the NSA, but didn’t actually understand how any of it works. In essence, her role was to merely ask if the NSA was behaving and then relay what she was told. Talk about oversight!

This week, however, even one of the NSA’s most loyal supporters is realizing that that trust might be misplaced. Feinstein, “overseer” of the NSA says she’s shocked to learn that the program has been eavesdropping on the U.S.’s own allies.


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