October 11, 2013
Foreign Policy magazine has an article highlighting how NSA employees are pissed off that President Obama hasn’t been defending the NSA strongly enough these past few months. While many (including us) have been quite critical of President Obama’s weak defense of the NSA programs, folks inside Ft. Meade are pissed off that he’s not out there defending them more strongly:
Gen. Keith Alexander and his senior leadership team at the National Security Agency are angry and dispirited by what they see as the White House’s failure to defend the spy agency against criticism of its surveillance programs, according to four people familiar with the NSA chiefs’ thinking. The top brass of the country’s biggest spy agency feels they’ve been left twisting in the wind, abandoned by the White House and left largely to defend themselves in public and in Congress against allegations of unconstitutional spying on Americans.
Former intelligence officials closely aligned with the NSA criticized President Obama for saying little publicly to defend the agency, and for not emphasizing that some leaked or officially disclosed documents arguably show the NSA operating within its legal authorities.
“There has been no support for the agency from the President or his staff or senior administration officials, and this has not gone unnoticed by both senior officials and the rank and file at the Fort,” said Joel Brenner, the NSA’s one-time inspector general, referring to the agency’s headquarters at Ft. Meade, Maryland.
Of course, one response to this is: too bad. Perhaps if the NSA didn’t keep pushing the boundaries further and further out, and there were more courageous folks like Ed Snowden willing to speak up and say “what we’re doing is wrong,” those NSA employees wouldn’t be dealing with this mess. And, of course, you’d hope that the NSA would employ grown ups who don’t get all mopey because the President has other things to focus on.
This article was posted: Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:14 am