War on Terror

NSA Admits Misleading Americans on Foiled Terror Plots

| by Michael Allen

NSA director Keith Alexander has contradicted himself more than once in front of Congress.

In May, he laughed off suggestions that the NSA was trying to gather information on all Americans.

But in late September, Alexander admitted: "I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox, yes."

Back in July, Alexander made the claim that NSA eavesdropping on Americans had foiled 54 terrorist plots and events.

According to NBC News,

As of last Friday, the U.S. government disrupted 54 terrorist activities using information collected under the controversial "Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act" and "Section 215 of the Patriot Act," the director of the National Security Agency said Thursday.

Gen. Keith Alexander said these programs enabled the United States to disrupt 54 "events," 42 of which "involved disrupted plots."

However, Alexander had to walk back that fib today when he was questioned by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), noted Salon.com.

Sen. Leahy asked Alexander about these plots that had supposedly been stopped because the NSA was spying on Americans' phone records.

“There is no evidence that phone records collection helped to thwart dozens or even several terrorist plots. These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all foiled. Would you agree with that, yes or no?” Sen. Leahy asked Alexander.

“Yes,” stated Alexander.

Alexander acknowledged that only 13 cases had been stopped by the NSA’s gathering of phone records.

Sources: NBC News and Salon.com