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“Does a blind loyalty prevail in your White House to the point where, 40 years after Watergate, there is not a single John Dean to warn you of a “cancer on the presidency?” Have none of your lawyers reminded you that “electronic surveillance of private citizens … subversive of constitutional government” was one of the three Articles of Impeachment against President Richard Nixon approved by a bipartisan 28 to 10 vote of the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974?”
“Given the closed circle surrounding you, we are allowing for the possibility that the smell from these rotting red herrings has not yet reached you – even though your own Review Group has found, for example, that NSA’s bulk collection has thwarted exactly zero terrorist plots,” they write, referring to an Obama-appointed panel that was tasked with reviewing NSA procedures."
“The sadder reality, Mr. President, is that NSA itself had enough information to prevent 9/11, but chose to sit on it rather than share it with the FBI or CIA. We know; we were there. We were witness to the many bureaucratic indignities that made NSA at least as culpable for pre-9/11 failures as are other U.S. intelligence agencies.”
The group criticized the NSA for its vast data collection policies, which they say bars the agency from effectively tracking actual terror plots in advance, such as the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.
The “NSA is drowning in useless data lacking adequate privacy provisions, to the point where it cannot conduct effective terrorist-related surveillance and analysis,” they write. “A recently disclosed internal NSA briefing document corroborates the drowning, with the embarrassing admission, in bureaucratese, that NSA collection has been ‘outpacing’ NSA’s ability to ingest, process, and store data – let alone analyze the take.”