BOSTON (CBS) – Are we worried about future terrorist attacks on us, and eager for the government to do everything it can to prevent them? Absolutely, we Bostonians of all people should be.
And if Edward Snowden, the document leaker who has put massive gathering of civilian internet data by security forces in the spotlight, did put the people who help keep us safe or their ability to function at risk, that’s where my sympathy for him ends.
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But over the weekend, National Security Agency director Keith Alexander was on TV claiming: “What Snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies.”
OK, but with all due respect, I have a problem with the fact that General Alexander didn’t offer a single piece of evidence to back that up.
Instead, he kept defending the effectiveness of the intelligence they gain from harvesting all this info, and insisting the ethics of it are on the level.
Let’s say all that is true. In which case, what’s the problem?
Let the program continue, while all of us have the debate over whether or not we think it’s too intrusive that President Obama insists is healthy for us to have.
Let the bureaucrats handling all this data continue to take the high road on how they use it, while we learn more about the previously-secret process.
And in the end, if it turns out the NSA director was right on with his defense, the whole story will fade away, as it should.
But I bet I’m not the only American who feels better knowing about this than not knowing, and blindly relying on the honesty and competence of government officials.
For that, we should thank Snowden, if all he did was clue us in on a process we should have been trusted enough to know about all along.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News. Follow him on Twitter @KelleratLarge