Keith ‘Cowboy’ Alexander is the head of the NSA, and the center of the Senate inquiries into the NSA’s unconstitutional spying.* In the past, Alexander claimed that the NSA foiled 54 separate plots with their surveillance. He now admits that was a lie. The number is closer to 13, and not all of those 13 were even plots… or were even foiled at all.
The irony here is delicious. This is like something out of a Monty Python skit. It wasn’t even a month ago when our pal Cowboy was complaining about the sensationalized reporting surrounding PRISM. Who is sensationalizing things now? I mean, this is like HSBC accusing somebody of being too greedy or Carlos Danger accusing somebody of being too lecherous.
I might be joking about this, but if you look at what all this tom foolery is costing us, this is a deadly serious problem. We spend at least $10 billion in tax money a year on the NSA. The externalities they create cost American cloud companies $35 billion on top of that. That doesn’t even begin to count all the other externalities, like loss of confidence in Google or the weakening of the architecture of the entire internet. You could fund a lot of research, cure a lot of diseases and educate a lot of inner city youth with that kind of money.
What is the government concerned about through all of this? Building more confidence in the destructive, failed NSA programs.
*The government shutdown did not stop the Senate NSA inquiries, but it did make the NSA send a lot of their employees home.