Edward Snowden wants a transparent NSA – oxymoron’s R us! Beyond the fact that handing over the keys to everything, any group that wasn’t aware has now had it screeched in their ear, there is serious lack of logic and sense involved.
Many things in the courts are secret. You can’t sit in on juvenile cases unless you have standing, and you can be prosecuted for revealing what went on. You can’t read the psychiatric report – not even in a murder trial – for anyone. You can’t get access to records of child custody hearings, nor to psychiatric evaluations of parents or their children. Court records are sealed all the time. So this notion that the FISA court is something extraordinary is just wrong. The courts apply secrecy all the time, where it has been decided it is appropriate.
Obviously, when looking at signals intelligence (PRISM, phone records, etc.) to do that with open public access is idiotic. Secrecy is required. And since some of the actors have remarkable connections inside the US government (various and sundry Islamists have routinely had direct access to presidents, the FBI, etc.) It is obvious that any warrant has to be secret.
At this point I am getting a tired of Greenwald. What I am tired of is his unstated assumption that civil society extends everywhere. That’s bogus. Trans-national islamism is just one group that intends to kill large numbers of people. This is war, and war isn’t optional when it is directed at you.
I’m tired of Snowden too, for the same reason. He falsely characterizes these terrrorists as “a few disorganized” guys. They are not. They have knocked over nations. They have an ideology with over 1,000 years of slaughter. (Don’t give me the bs about the Crusades. The Crusades were an anemic response to muslim armies that slashed across the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, what is now Turkey, and well into Europe. (e.g. Spain, the Balkans) Those muslim armies ruled by terror, routinely slaughtering most men in towns that resisted. That’s what mohammed did – it’s all in Sira and Ha’dith – the other two source texts of islam. Read “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon” for how it worked in Europe.)
The janisseries were the original secret police. In conquered territories, a tribute of young boys (6-8) were taken. These boys were specially trained (like Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen) to torture and rule, and inculcated with fanatical loyalty to the reigning Sultan. Then, they were sent back where they came from. It was not uncommon that they would do something horrific to their parents. It made the people fear them. And it devastated the local people to see one of their own betraying them all so horribly.
We know that the modern version of these are trying to obtain and deploy nuclear weapons inside the USA. We know they are trying to get biological and chemical weapons to use inside the USA. We know that they recruit and deploy conventional bombers and shooters inside the USA.
Failing to talk about that is wrong. Part of informed debate is to be very clear what the penalty is for failure. It is not a debate at all if that is not clearly discussed.