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by
Rick Moran

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August 4, 2013 - 10:21 am

Senator Saxbe Chambliss, a strong supporter of the NSA’s surveillance programs, hinted on Meet the Press that the controversial programs were responsible for uncovering the terror plot that has caused the closings of embassies and consulates in 21 countries.

The Hill reports:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, revealed on Sunday that the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance programs uncovered information about current terrorist threats to the United States.

“These programs are controversial, we understand that,” Chambliss said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But they are also very important… If we did not have these programs, then we simply would not be able to listen in on the bad guys.”

Based on information about a possible al Qaeda plot, the State Department closed more than 20 diplomatic posts and issued a worldwide travel alert on Friday. Top administration officials met late Saturday to discuss the threat.

Chambliss, who has access to classified information as a member of the Intelligence Committee, said that the NSA learned of the plot by using its authority under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to intercept communications between suspected terrorists.

The provision gives the NSA power to obtain secret court orders forcing phone and Internet companies to turn over their users’ communications. The law requires that the target of the surveillance must be “reasonably believed” to be outside of the United States.

Recent revelations about the scope of the NSA’s surveillance have prompted outrage over privacy violations and calls on Capitol Hill to rein in the programs.

“So yes, these programs—even though they’re controversial—this is a good indication of why they’re so important,” Chambliss said.

One might think that Chambliss, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, might be in a position to know how the terror plot was uncovered. No one else on the committee is confirming this information yet, so perhaps the senator is overstating the case.

Be that as it may, how effective the programs are is not how you judge them. They should be judged by whether or not they violate our liberties and right to privacy. How the surveillance programs are designed may sound wonderful, but if what Edward Snowden says is true, it’s how they are employed that is the problem.

How many U.S. citizens, if any, had their information vacuumed up in order to reveal the current terror plot? Perhaps the senator would have done well to find that out before bragging about the effectiveness of the programs.

Related: Terrorists ‘Broke Operational Security’ in Talking about Plot

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   
If there were no elaborate surveillance we would have to make distinctions instead between people and cultures, and deport lots of folks. Can't have that. Brave new world.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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Saxby Chambliss is my Senator and one of the most worthless RINO SOBs you can imagine. Think of Lindsey Graham without the publicity.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sadly he is also my worthless Rep, fortunately he will be gone soon. I will not vote for another rhino like ol saxby. Now we have to get rid of isackson another dem-lite pos.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
How convenient. The NSA's surveillance has been under increasing criticism in recent weeks, and Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! They uncovered a terror threat and prevent AQ from blowing up our embassies. Of course, we have to take them and our President at his word. Leave it to the GOP to rush to the defense of this administration.

I hope no one is fooled by this stunt.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
What plot? I see a lot of high profile running around but haven't seen evidence of any so-called plot yet.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Newsflash: Warrantless Searches Yield Tonnes of Evidence of Criminal Activity!

So; I'll agree to all this NSA surveillance as soon as you, Mr. Chambliss agree to eliminating the Miranda Warning and the Need for Search Warrants.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess I'm just not buying the trade off they are selling - give up liberty or be overrun by terrorists. Does the proportionality of risk on American soil really justify the extent of data collection on innocent citizens? I'm not convinced.

I'm more worried about the government or criminal hackers misusing the collected data to destroy lives than for it to be effectively used to foil a terror plot as significant as 9/11. Wasn't one of the main issues of 9/11 that there was plenty of data on hand but agencies weren't effectively communicating and sharing this stuff? And that little flaw is completely corrected now, right ? Bull...
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ahh... I knew it would get to this, the conversation turned around to the 'benefits' of snooping, as if snooping on Al Qaeda was ever the issue! NOT.

The kerfuffle has always been about UNFETTERED spying on Americans, except on those who need to be spied on - Muslim Americans. Alas, due to heavy pressure from CAIR, the propaganda arm of the Brotherhood Mafia, as they are deeply penetrated in Washington, they are off limits, ever since Sept 2011. This is a fact. The FBI is not allowed to spy in their mosques etc and this is where the jihad is cooked up - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/08/02/the-nsa-caught-dead-to-rights-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Watch for all the smoke and mirrors coming from NSA's champions...

Adina kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
" National Security Adviser Susan Rice chaired a meeting with 12 administration officials including the secretaries of State, Defense and Homeland Security and the directors of the FBI, CIA and NSA, according to a White House statement…"

Susan Rice – the pathological lying imbecile who went on, I believe it was 5 Sunday blab shows, and blamed Benghazi 9/11 on that obscure video. The only thing she could possibly properly chair would be an idiot clown show, and it looks like the heads of State, Defense, DHS, FBI, CIA and NSA would be her performing idiot clowns.

I would not believe a single thing any of them said and wouldn’t trust them to protect anything.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
ya think maybe the bad guys got hold of a copy of "Hell is for Heroes" with Bob Newhart?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
If nothing happens this month should we see it as an intelligence success or proof that there wasn't any threat but, they wanted us to believe that reading and listening to all our private communications saved our collective asses
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess everyone forgot how bin laden stayed under the radar for so long. He didn't use a telephone or a computer. Do they think the bad guys forgot too?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
This was just an ELINT operation and the smartest, best educated, most skillful people the World has ever seen failed miserably OR the whole damned thing is just another Soros Junta lie to make it look like they're doing something other than turning the entire MENA over to Iran and the Brotherhood.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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