William E. Jackson Jr.: No transparency

July 13, 2013 

No transparency

Regarding “Obama downplays troubles in extraditing Snowden,” (June 28): The President has been publicly minimizing the significance of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the operations of the NSA, disclosures that have served to force a national debate over privacy versus security. But White House press secretary Jay Carney and National Security Agency director Keith Alexander have acted as if the sky is falling when calling for Snowden’s extradition.

The ex-NSA “infrastructure analyst” has informed us that the executive branch of the national government – aided and abetted by private phone companies and Internet conduits – runs a dragnet operation in collecting phone call numbers and in scanning e-mail traffic.

President Obama is guilty of a falsehood when claiming that this monitoring process is “transparent” with checks and balances. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court operates in complete secrecy – its opinions are not available for public scrutiny – and senators are tongue-tied because of strictures imposed by the intelligence community.

William E. Jackson Jr., Davidson

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