Interview with National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell
Mike McConnell, U.S. National Intelligence Director, gave an interesting interview to the El Paso Times.
I don’t think he’s ever been so candid before. For example, he admitted that the nation’s telcos assisted the NSA in their massive eavesdropping efforts. We already knew this, of course, but the government has steadfastly maintained that either confirming or denying this would compromise national security.
There are, of course, moments of surreality. He said that it takes 200 hours to prepare a FISA warrant. Ryan Single calculated that since there were 2,167 such warrants in 2006, there must be “218 government employees with top secret clearances sitting in rooms, writing only FISA warrants.” Seems unlikely.
But most notable is this bit:
Q. So you’re saying that the reporting and the debate in Congress means that some Americans are going to die?
A. That’s what I mean. Because we have made it so public. We used to do these things very differently, but for whatever reason, you know, it’s a democratic process and sunshine’s a good thing. We need to have the debate.
Ah, the politics of fear. I don’t care if it’s the terrorists or the politicians, refuse to be terrorized. (More interesting discussions on the interview here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
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