Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

June 18, 2013

Stop the NSA grandstanding

(Continued)

Twelve years later, the intelligence community is doing exactly what the American people asked for. The counterterrorism programs revealed last week have helped to thwart dozens of terrorist attacks. In one case, these programs identified a connection between al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan and Najibullah Zazi, an al Qaeda operative in Colorado. This enabled the FBI to stop Zazi and his associates from detonating explosives in the New York City subway system.

These programs represent some of the most effective means available to protect the country from terrorist organizations like al Qaeda. Leaking this information only degrades our ability to prevent attacks. It compromises our sources and gives terrorists critical information on how we monitor their activities.

When I asked NSA Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander about the consequences of Mr. Snowden's leaks during a recent Senate hearing, he replied: "If we tell terrorists every way we track them, they will get through, and people will die." Mr. Snowden apparently did not share that concern or did not care.

Mr. Snowden was wrong about key details of these programs, and the press, blogs and members of Congress from both parties have echoed his distortions. For the record: The government is not and cannot indiscriminately listen in on Americans' phone calls or target their emails. It is not collecting the content of conversations or even their location under these programs. For instance, the only telephone data collected is the time of the call, the phone numbers involved and the length of the call. That is how we connect the dots and identify links between international terrorists and their collaborators within the United States. All of this is done under the supervision of the nation's top federal judges, senior officials across several different federal agencies and Congress.

These programs are legal, constitutional and used only under the strict oversight of all three branches of the government, including a highly scrutinized judicial process. Furthermore, members of both political parties review, audit and authorize all activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I can attest that few issues garner more of our attention than the oversight of these programs.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Low college attainment puts Indiana at a disadvantage For many of us, the phrase Big 10 brings to mind the spirited competition that comes with college sports. It may make us think of rivalries on basketball courts and football fields that have endured decades, tied to our pride in an alma mater or fami

    July 15, 2014

  • New laws benefit Hoosier families The beginning of July has taken on new meaning since I first began serving as your state representative. Not only does it signify the start of a new month, it also represents when many new laws take effect in Indiana. As a continuous advocate for chi

    July 15, 2014

  • Overlooking state's working poor has economic costs The Pence administration is calling for a review of the Indiana tax code. The top goals are to simplify the code and to promote economic development. But another worthy goal, one that would boost the Indiana economy, is missing.First, if the governme

    July 11, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was

    July 11, 2014

  • I'm thankful for our veterans' sacrifices On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 11, 2014

  • St. Andrews supports food program Dear Editor,St. Andrews Health Campus and its employees are committed to compassionate care that extends well beyond the residents St. Andrews serves. Executive director Gwen Reverman and her staff demonstrate their enduring commitment to this princi

    July 11, 2014

  • Golf classic support appreciated Dear Editor, Oldenburg Academy's 23rd Annual Pro-Am Golf Classic Committee would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who supported our golf outing, especially our event sponsors, food sponsors, advertising buyers and gift donors, along

    July 3, 2014

  • July 4 is a day to cherish liberty My name is John Hosbrook, and I died 216 years ago. My family has asked me to take you on a tour of our Patriot Past. They said you might need a refresher since Twitter, texting and TV dance shows have made you a mite forgetful. Why was I selected fo

    July 3, 2014

  • Homegrown spirits return to state fair INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Webb is counting on patrons of the Indiana State Fair to be better behaved this summer than they were in 1946, when a celebratory post-war crowd almost trashed the place. The bad behavior of beer drinkers 68 years ago is what led

    July 3, 2014

  • A dozen colleges do the conference shuffle The most tenured coach at the University of Louisville might not find joining a new athletic conference so special. But for tennis coach Rex Ecarma, the Cardinals’ move is a moment to celebrate.Ecarma has been at Louisville for 23 seasons, battling t

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook