Sad state of affairs as the only meaningful media questioning of mass surveillance comes from Daily Show Offshoot

Steve Watson
April 28, 2014

The former head of the NSA, General Keith Alexander openly lied in an interview with Comedian John Oliver last night – one of the only times he has actually been asked any tough questions by anyone in the mainstream media.

When asked if he knew of any instance where the NSA had acted illegally, Alexander answered:

“In my time, no. Not that I know of. You know, one of the most impressive things that I’ve seen in my career was people who made a mistake, that could be a huge mistake, stepping up to say ‘I made a mistake.’ And in every case, to my knowledge, everyone but 12 individuals stepped forward at the time they made those mistakes.”

Oliver called out Alexander, firing back “Right, but you can’t say ‘everyone… except for 12.’ That’s like saying ‘I’ve never killed anyone… apart from those three people I have buried under my patio at home.'”

“The key issue I was trying to make was, in every case, we reported. In some cases, those who made a mistake, but were still caught.” Alexander clarified.

This statement is an outright lie, and not only in relation to blatant violation of the Constitution. Indeed, the NSA’s own internal documents have noted that over several years the agency has abused its power thousands and thousands of times in order to spy on innocent Americans.

The Washington Post reported last year that “The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.”

“Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by law and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.” the Post report noted.

Despite these facts, Alexander, other NSA insiders, and President Obama have continually claimed that no abuses occurred, save for the afore mentioned twelve documented instances where jealous or paranoid NSA employees took it upon themselves to spy on their significant others.

Even in these cases, the majority culprits were only outed because they took it upon themselves to own up to their abuses some time later, as detailed by a report issued by the NSA Inspector General. They were not “caught” as Alexander claims. This means that many more undiscovered abuses have almost certainly taken place.

Elsewhere in the interview, in addition to making several jokes and farcical suggestions, John Oliver called out Alexander when he attempted to once again claim that Americans are not being targeted by the NSA.

“No, the target is not the American people, but it seems that too often you miss the target and hit the American person next to them going ‘Whoa, him!'” Oliver said.

He added that Americans are concerned that the NSA is not just collecting the haystack to get the needle, but is also “collecting “the whole farm, and the county and the state, and now you’ve got photos of the farmer’s wife in the shower as well.”

“We’re not just out there gathering information, listening to their phone calls, or collecting their emails. But, that’s the first thing that people jump to.” Alexander claimed,

Oliver refused to relent, noting “But you are out there doing that. You’re just saying that you’re not then reading them. You are gathering that data.”

When Alexander attempted to make the argument that the agency only collects so called “metadata”, the comedian insisted ” That’s not nothing. That’s significant information. Otherwise, you wouldn’t want it.”

Compare Oliver’s interview to the walk in the park that was Alexander’s appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes, where reporter John Miller didn’t once follow up on a single statement Alexander made. In this context Oliver, a British comedian, comes across as a hard hitting political interviewer.

The sad truth is that government corruption and abuse of power is only being commented on, questioned and investigated in a ‘jokey kinda way’ on entertainment shows and talks shows. Hence why the alternative media is exploding and establishment institutions such as CBS are now universally recognised as full on government controlled propaganda arms.


Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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