NSA Director Alexander Admits He Lied about Phone Surveillance Stopping 54 Terror Plots

By on October 15, 2013
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by Noel Brinkerhoff

The head of the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted before a congressional committee this week that he lied back in June when he claimed the agency’s phone surveillance program had thwarted 54 terrorist “plots or events.”

NSA Director Keith Alexander gave out the erroneous number while the Obama administration was defending its domestic spying operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. He said surveillance data collected that led to 53 of those 54 plots had provided the initial tips to “unravel the threat stream.”

But Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday during a hearing on the continued oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that the administration was pushing incomplete or inaccurate statements about the bulk collection of phone records from communications providers.

“For example, we’ve heard over and over again that 54 terrorist plots have been thwarted by the use of (this program),” Leahy said. “That’s plainly wrong,” adding: “These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all thwarted.”

Alexander admitted that only 13 of the 54 cases were connected to the United States. He also told the committee that only one or two suspected plots were identified as a result of bulk phone record collection.

Leahy was not happy. “We’re told we have to [conduct mass phone surveillance] to protect us, and the statistics are rolled out that they’re not accurate,” he said. “It doesn’t have the credibility here in the Congress, it doesn’t have the credibility with this chairman and it doesn’t have the credibility with the country.”

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21 Comments

  1. Alabama Dave

    October 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Why is he not in Jail. He lied under oath.

    • Ed

      October 15, 2013 at 11:49 am

      You or I would be in jail for this. Our government is apparently answerable to no one.

      • R

        October 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        Under true democracy, under a true justice system when the people run the government, and not the government runs the people. The people are the ones they would be answerable to.

        But people fear the government.

    • Adam Smith

      October 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Because Eric Holder won’t put him there.

  2. NoJailEver

    October 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Why would he go to jail? He’s like, distinguished or something important like that. We don’t throw people in jail who do things wrong if they wear shiny metals.

    • Oh

      October 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      So that’s why rappers wear so many shiny chains… and teeth.

  3. Greg

    October 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    This headline doesn’t seem to coincide with the content of this article. Whether that is done on purpose or not, I don’t know. However, there’s a difference between admitting to lying about thwarting terrorist plots and admitting that only 13 of them were connected to the U.S.

    • Tony Clarinski

      October 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      Out of the 54 cases he talked about only “one or two” were brought to light by phone surveillance. The fact that he can’t even give an exact number tells me it’s more likely that none of them came from phone surveillance. Only 13 of the 54 involved the US. It’s possible that none of the 13 came from phone surveillance.

  4. Jeremy Frazier

    October 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Jail?!? This guy should be publicly tortured every day for the rest of his life.

    • TPRJones

      October 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Torture would be unconstitutional. I believe the proper punishment for treason is death, according to 18 U.S.C. § 2381.

      And make no mistake, I consider this man and his ilk to have clearly waged war upon the constitution and the people of the United States, which is the very definition of treason. There is no other appropriate description of their actions.

      • ghengis

        October 16, 2013 at 12:37 am

        I agree. He and the administration have undermined the Constitution and are answerable to the American people.

    • htheriot

      October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Jail yes daily torture no!

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    October 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm

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    October 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

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  7. HiramHawk

    October 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    What else are they lying to us about?

  8. Nathan M. Bonsal

    October 15, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    These morons have sold us down the river. Europe, Asia, and South America don’t want our software anymore because these people have overstepped their authority, engaged in corporate espionage for US companies, and bugged the UN building. That nobody’s in jail proves that we’re just not the good guys. In four years, when our economy is in the crapper because our software industry is gone, blame these guys, and the guys who won’t pursue charges.

  9. Ethan

    October 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Chances of NSA programs going away? Zero. They’ll still grow.

  10. Jeh Johnson

    October 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I will just book mark this blog.

  11. John Shriber

    October 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Once you have noticed a credit card is missing, conduct a thorough search.
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    card fraud scam must compare the receipts with the respective billing statements.
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    the purchase he made was not illegal is to have it in writing.

  12. Paul Gabacho Loco

    October 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    OBAMA SHOULD BE IN JAIL AND BUSH AND CLINTON

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