Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Al Jazeera America has done some great work in obtaining the official NSA talking points via a Freedom of Information Act request. As might be expected, the agency tells its people to use the attacks on September 11, 2001 to manipulate public opinion into accepting unacceptable levels of surveillance. As I have maintained over and over again for years, our overreaction to 9/11 has done exponentially more damage to the nation than any terrorist attack ever could. I penned my latest thoughts on the attacks last month in my piece: How I Remember September 11, 2001.
One of the highlights, actually lowlights, of the document is what the NSA refers to as a “soundbite that resonates.” Here it is:
I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.
More from Al Jazeera America:
The National Security Agency advised its officials to cite the 9/11 attacks as justification for its mass surveillance activities, according to a master list of NSA talking points.
The document, obtained by Al Jazeera through a Freedom of Information Act request, contains talking points and suggested statements for NSA officials (PDF) responding to the fallout from media revelations that originated with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Invoking the events of 9/11 to justify the controversial NSA programs, which have caused major diplomatic fallout around the world, was the top item on the talking points that agency officials were encouraged to use.
Under the subheading “Sound Bites That Resonate,” the document suggests the statement “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.”
The NSA has not yet turned over to Al Jazeera the documents the agency used to prepare the talking points, saying those materials require additional review before they can be released.
I can only imagine what’s in those…
The master talking points list goes on to explain, under a subheading titled “We Needed to Connect the Dots,” that “post-9/11 we made several changes and added a number of capabilities to enable us to connect the dots.”
I suppose there were too many dots to connect in the Boston bombing. Oh let me guess, if you only had more spy powers you could’ve stopped it!
Full article and link to the source documents here.