In an op-ed published by The Guardian, former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson and former diplomat Joe Wilson lay into the arguments being made to defend the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.
Their views would seem to carry some additional weight given a former White House advisor was sentenced to prison for lying during the investigation into who leaked Plame’s name while she was still undercover.
That reportedly happened in retaliation for her husband’s op-ed casting doubt on claims made by the Bush administration about Iraq’s interest in weapons of mass destruction.
The pair write:
Prism and other NSA data-mining programs might indeed be very effective in hunting and capturing actual terrorists, but we don’t have enough information as a society to make that decision. Despite laudable efforts led by Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall to bring this to the public ‘s attention that were continually thwarted by the administration because everything about this program was deemed “too secret”, Congress could not even exercise its oversight responsibilities. The intelligence community and their friends on the Hill do not have a right to interpret our rights absent such a discussion.
They also go after intelligence contractors, which they say now comprises a “vast intelligence-industrial complex”:
Today, the intelligence sector is so immense that no one person can manage, or even comprehend, its reach. When an operation in the field goes south, who would we prefer to try and correct the damage: a government employee whose loyalty belongs to his country (despite a modest salary), or the subcontractor who wants to ensure that his much fatter paycheck keeps coming?
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