The National Security Agency
October 28th, 2015
The NSA (National Security Agency) was brought into existence by The National Security Act of 1947 and Executive Order 12333. It’s come under a lot of scrutiny since it’s birth on December 4th, 1981. I once wrote on Facebook that the National Security Agency could have the very thoughts from my head if it meant stopping a terrorist attack. I meant it. Many do not share the same view. Bernie Sanders, in the Democratic Presidential Debate, said he would do away with the NSA. I think the NSA should be to internal America what the Central Intelligence Agency is to external America. I’m not writing about the torture that is commonly associated with the CIA. I personally don’t know what would drive a person to torture nor do I know what it would take to endure it but I’m not naive enough to think that at the present the conditions for either don’t exist. I write about the intelligence collection and utilization aspects of the CIA and NSA. One for the potential elements of all types of terrorism ethnically motivated, gangs, or sleeper cells here at home (NSA) and the other for the threats of terrorism abroad (CIA). The Federal Bureau of Investigation with the National Security Council could jointly provide policing for both.
I am in no way qualified to know how these things work but as an American I can still think about and even write about them. Hopefully in a future America, in a more functional world every American will be more qualified; that’s to say be more informed about the workings of our Government.
Little do many people know that the National Security Council, CIA, Department of Defense, and the Department of the Air force were born of The National Security Act of 1947. The Directors and Secretaries made $14,000 a year. assistant secretaries and the like made $10,000 a year, Part time employees such as some advisers were not to exceed $35 a day, Times have changed. A special agent for the CIA now makes $74,872 – $136,771 a year.
Americans just don’t get it. We’ve lost the war on finance and manufacturing. If not for our strong military, intelligence gathering, and research and development capabilities our country would not exist. That’s why we need the best in today’s and tomorrow’s technology working for us. I watched on the news that Secretary of Homeland Security and I think the Director of the CIA had been hacked and my first thought was why aren’t those hackers working for us. The next thought was why didn’t American employees have the ability to shut them down before any information was leaked.
Opponents of the NSA want to restrict bulk phone record collection. I think that’s going the wrong direction. if a phone call’s content is “I’m going to blow up the americans now but I’ll be home in time for supper” I want the government to know about it. I’ve done a lot of shady shit in my day but as long as I’m not being persecuted or prosecuted for petty crimes that should be left for local officials to figure out, I’m fine with sharing my privacy; more so now that my life of crime is behind me (ironically just a little problem with authority). The tussle over NSA snooping explained starts opponents of the bulk phone data collection and ends with persons like myself who thinks the NSA isn’t doing enough.
Congress would disagree with me but I think the NSA should monitor the behaviors of Congress. We should all agree that even if not the NSA doesn’t someone has to step in and do it in American interest vs interest over seas, off shore, big business. Our politicians shouldn’t be involved in anything that’s not in America’s best interest. The balance of powers in the branches of our Government have shifted greatly to the legislative branch due to the corporate interest. Speaking of the branches of Government, it seems to me that by Executive Order 12333 the President isn’t the highest official of the Executive branch when it come to matter’s of National Security. The second sentence of 1.2 (a) “The National Security Council (NSC) shall act as the highest Executive Branch entity that provides review of, guidance for and direction to the conduct of all national foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and special activities, and attendant policies and programs”. If the pyramid on the back of your dollar represented our Government the NSC would be the eye in the sky. It would be good to have them peered with the FBI on the oversight of the NSA and CIA. The FBI would act as an anchor and provide some drag so that the National Security Council doesn’t float away into the Universe. Just sayin’. The final thought for this paragraph has to do with a comment from the White House. The USA Freedom Act “strikes an appropriate balance between significant reform and preservation of important national security tools.” When it comes to matters of National Security we shouldn’t be looking to strike a balance or compromise in. We should be looking for a landslide victory.
I’ve read the Patriot Act, which I think is a cool acronym, and I don’t see where sec. 215 provides for what the NSA was involved in unless sec, 215 even when used with sec. 106. Guess that’s why I’m not a congress person. Maybe you can make sense of it. About the acronym though; Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act; I told you it was pretty good. There’s a couple of other provisions I’d like to touch on. Title IX of the Patriot Act amends the National Security Act and sec. 1016 is related to big business. This kind of scares me a little bit. It’s about how the corporate world supports the Government and Government has to protect those entities to remain functioning. The average American has the Constitution but can it prevail under these conditions.
I’ve decided not to get into the USA Freedom Act because this blog has already become lengthy enough. Perhaps I’ll do a blog on USA Freedom Act and any follow up legislation. Talk about these things in these times with your family and friends. Every household; every home should be involved. Until next week; keep your homes well.