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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Comments

Allen Isaacson

In reference to the question of which standard of law Mr. Stone is referring to, I believe he means to say that the governmental regulations regarding classified information and public disclosure be adhered to. I agree that it is offensive to the public that we be removed from the process of legal and judicial accountability, which underscores the present issue the intelligence community faces with rebuilding the public trust. On the other hand, the effectiveness of surveillance and intelligence programs depend on a certain amount of secrecy which agencies like the NSA, CIA, and DHS must be able to count on, both to protect their operations and their operatives. The question that follows is, how do we determine the appropriate balance between secrecy in surveillance and intelligence and the Constitutional privacy rights of the public, as well as maintaining sufficient government accountability?

Ultimately, most approaches, including Stone's, require invoking a vague "balancing test." I believe that in many ways, the panel's recommendations make good use of a proper "balancing test" between oversight and autonomy for intelligence operations. The question remains of whether the recommendations go far enough in the realm of protecting citizens' privacy rights or whether they already go too far to be realistically considered for implementation by the intelligence community.

Louise

Thank you Mr. Isaacson for this blog.

My personal reaction to a double statement as cited:

He offered, as an alternative, that a concerned employee should (1)follow the law and take any issue up the chain of command or bring it to a congressional intelligence committee, (2) which has top-secret clearance and has approved these programs on many occasions.


(1) Which law?
• “Ours” at citizen level, which is almost totally impotent and therefore ineffective; or
• “Theirs” which, as clearly stated, is kept secret and therefore without open justification: “A secret warrant issued by a secret court…” Please!

(2) That very definition is an arrogant insult to American citizens. We are only good to be kept like mushrooms and obey the powers to be. Really!

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