NSA Chief Pushes Legislation To Stifle The First Amendment

NSA Chief is Pushing for Legislation to Stifle the First Amendment (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 5, 2014):

“Recently, what came out with the justices in the United Kingdom … they looked at what happened on Miranda and other things, and they said it’s interesting: journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues. They don’t know how to weigh the fact of what they’re giving out and saying, is it in the nation’s interest to divulge this.”
– General Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA

Although General Alexander states the above with regard to the UK justice system, he clearly agrees with the assessment. Read the passage above again and think about how scary that statement is. It becomes clear that one of the reasons abuses at the NSA are so egregious is because of the attitude of the person in charge. Alexander genuinely thinks that intelligence officials know best, and should not be subject to any sort of accountability. You don’t need to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU to see how dangerous this perspective is. To endorse this notion that “journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues,” is to effectively make illegal one of the most important free speech rights in any democracy. This sort of attitude represents the antithesis of American values.

Not only does General Alexander see things this way, apparently he is lobbying for Congressional legislation that would solidify this authoritarian view within the law itself.

For example, the Guardian reported yesterday that:

General Keith Alexander, who has furiously denounced the Snowden revelations, said at a Tuesday cybersecurity panel that unspecified “headway” on what he termed “media leaks” was forthcoming in the next several weeks, possibly to include “media leaks legislation.”

The general, who is due to retire in the next several weeks, said that the furore over Snowden’s surveillance revelations – which he referred to only as “media leaks” – was complicating his ability to get congressional support for a bill that would permit the NSA and the military Cyber Command he also helms to secretly communicate with private entities like banks about online data intrusions and attacks. 

So apparently he has several pieces of authoritarian legislation on his plate at the moment. He laments Snowden is making the implementation of his fascist tendencies more difficult. Just another reason to celebrate Snowden.

“We’ve got to handle media leaks first,” Alexander said.

“I think we are going to make headway over the next few weeks on media leaks. I am an optimist. I think if we make the right steps on the media leaks legislation, then cyber legislation will be a lot easier,” Alexander said.

Alexander has previously mused about “stopping” journalism related to the Snowden revelations.

“We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on,” he told an official Defense Department blog in October.

The specific legislation to which Alexander referred was unclear. Angela Canterbury, the policy director for the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, said she was unaware of any such bill. Neither was Steve Aftergood, an intelligence policy analyst at the Federation of American Scientists.

Does this guy really have something up his sleeve, or is he just delusional?

But staff at Georgetown University, which sponsored the Tuesday cybersecurity forum, took the microphone away from a Guardian reporter who attempted to ask Alexander if the NSA had missed the signs of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine, which appeared to take Obama administration policymakers by surprise.

Although the event was open to reporters, journalists were abruptly told following the NSA director’s remarks that they were not permitted to ask questions of Alexander, who did not field the Ukraine question. Following the event, security staff closed a stairwell gate on journalists who attempted to ask Alexander questions on his way out.

Shocker.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

1 thought on “NSA Chief Pushes Legislation To Stifle The First Amendment

  1. It is really terrifying to see America these days. It has become like Nazi Germany, the one part of history I never wanted to see outside a history book…….

    This general ought to be stripped of his rank and thrown into jail for his outrageous behavior and complete disregard for basic civil rights. Suppress the right to speak?

    People ought to raise hell about this, but they won’t hear of it. As for suppressing the first amendment, all one has to do is revisit the Patriot Act. Speaking against the president is enough to be thrown in jail……He only needs to read the Patriot Act.

    Having spent 12 years in a coastal rain forest, I can only say these evil sociopaths are going to face a reckoning soon. The planet is very big and alive. It won’t come from the people, because they are told nothing…….it will come from nature and it is being sped along by Fukushima. The planet is readying itself to wash us away as easily as we would ants off a sink. It won’t be in 20 or 30 years, everything will be changed in the next couple of years…..far beyond anything they can imagine.

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