NSA – government bloat. The US government only searched for detailed information on telephone calls involving fewer than 300 specific phone numbers among the millions and millions of raw phone records collected by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2012, according to a government paper obtained by Reuters on Saturday. The unclassified paper was circulated Saturday within the government by US intelligence agencies and apparently is an attempt by the spy agencies and the Obama administration to rebut accusations that it overreached in investigating potential terrorist plots.
The NSA is one of at least 15 US intelligence agencies, with a combined total US intelligence budget in 2012 of $75 billion (about the same as the education budget). The NSA budget was reportedly $10 Billion, but of course this is yet another secret done on our behalf. Hmmmm … so a rough calculation would be that we spent about $33 Million per telephone record search? The paper also says NSA data collections helped USA authorities track down Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan immigrant who in 2009 was arrested for plotting to bomb the New York City subway system. Others suggest however, that the terrorist was caught by old-fashioned police investigations – not a NSA dragnet. The amazing point here is that we have to go back 4 YEARS to find a supposed good example of how the NSA is keeping us safe? Someone is either lying to us or the NSA is the biggest “bloat” in the US government.
Now juxtapose this, to all the harm a secret surveillance state can do. If we had a certain level of transparency (perhaps not low-level immediate detailed operational activities) in our intelligence information gathering, with the disinfectant of good journalism to see and report on what is being done on our behalf – would we have gone and fought all these middle-east wars? Are we still looking for weapons of mass destruction?
Would there have been the killing of 100s of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan people, 4000+ dead American troops (not even counting coalition partners), 40,000 American war injuries, with a financial cost of potentially trillions of dollars when the final bill comes due? Of which, was a major contributor to the recent global financial collapse/recovery, due to the US having enormous budgetary issues, causing needed assistance to go unmet, such as health care, education, disaster relief, poverty relief, foreign aid, infrastructure, etc … that resulted in how many ruined lives and yes even deaths. And this is all the NSA can come up with? Outrageous !!!
Where are all the Republican Tea Party folks to come and … “cut the spending?” But this won’t happen – this is one thing both Democrats and Republicans agree with. They must keep the real secret that is not so secret. War is just business – isn’t it?
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