What’s the point if it doesn’t work?
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the chairman, Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, accused Obama administration officials of overstating the success of the domestic call log program. He said he had been shown a classified list of “terrorist events” detected through surveillance, and it did not show that “dozens or even several terrorist plots” had been thwarted by the domestic program.
“If this program is not effective it has to end. So far, I’m not convinced by what I’ve seen,” Mr. Leahy said, citing the “massive privacy implications” of keeping records of every American’s domestic calls.
And speaking of spending piles of cash to accomplish who knows what, while adding in gross incompetence:
[…] The GAO’s report found that the annual number of TSA misconduct cases over the last three years has increased, from 2,691 in fiscal year 2010 to 3,408 in fiscal year 2012. The offenses include everything from sleeping on the job to failing to follow screening procedures to even theft.
At our airport, the TSA decided that valet parked cars needed to be searched, because the TSA’s goal is to keep expanding until every single low-probability threat at an airport has been addressed. Never mind that there are dozens of other places where people congregate (and valet park) that have nothing like the security at the airport. Airports must be perfectly safe no matter the cost or inconvenience, because 9/11.
The NSA and the TSA are two examples of the security-industrial complex gone wild after 9/11. Bureaucracies and their contractors have had a dozen-year blank check to do whatever it takes to make us secure. When we try to rein them in, they either say that what they’re doing is so secret it can’t be discussed, or they make vague reference to foiled plots. At some point, those agencies are going to have to show that Rapiscans, collecting every phone call to Mom and Dad, and squirreling away every Facebook “like” in a giant database actually makes us safer.