Hayden Defends the NSA

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Glenn Greenwald has a must-read post eviscerating NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden’s defense of the NSA domestic spying program. From all appearances, the NSA wasn’t doing any sort of data-mining, as previously thought (although Hayden’s denial is vague enough that this could still be a possibility). Instead, it was, apparently, illegally lowering the standards required for monitoring U.S. citizens and circumventing the FISA Court by refusing to get warrants, which are required by law. It’s hard to see how this isn’t illegal.

Meanwhile, in his Q&A session, Gen. Hayden never really gave any indication that the new program—or the new, illegal criteria for monitoring domestic suspects—actually works, or has led to arrests or any sort of tangible domestic security success. And no one seems to have really pressed this point. Granted, this sort of pales beside the issue of whether the administration broke the law or not, but it’s still a pretty crucial question.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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