When I worked as a child abuse investigator, an investigation didn't always transpire as I thought it might. Sometimes, it quickly became apparent that there was no basis to substantiate the reported allegations, but in the course of the investigation, I uncovered other crimes or serious issues. Some of these were within my purview to assess, while others were passed on to the police, probation office, juvenile division and/or mental health professionals.
And this brings us back to the claims of the NSA and Obama administration officials that the widespread spying of Americans is needed to protect us. While I clearly showed in the last post on this topic that this is a most dubious claim in regards to terrorist attacks and mass shootings, it is dubious in another regard as well.
Since these secret programs were set in motion, not a one of the many financial crises or illegal actions was discovered BEFORE it damaged either the domestic or world economy. In the last few years, the American people have been pummeled by the massive fraud of illegal foreclosures. There have been cases of insider trading and the manipulation of stock derivatives, municipal bonds, interest rates and currency rates. It is said that one bank laundered billions of dollars of funds from drug trafficking. And then we have all the corporations who "lost" billions of dollars earmarked for Iraqi reconstruction projects.
How is it that a spy agency that is vacuuming up billions of pieces of data per month from Americans and foreigners alike was not able to thwart ANY of these illegal or unethical activities? I realize that this is not the kind of information that they are targeting, but as I indicated in my first paragraph, it is not atypical for an investigator to uncover activities that were not a part of the initial inquiry. About the ONLY way the NSA could have not uncovered these sorts of nefarious activities is by willful blindness.
My overarching point in these two posts is to make it clear that protection is not what these secret programs are about. There is little evidence that these programs have protected us from much of anything. They have failed when it comes to terrorist attacks. They have failed when it comes to mass shootings. And they have failed when it comes to massive financial wrongdoing as well.
So, what exactly are they protecting us from?