General Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, outright lied to Congress when he claimed the NSA does not intercept Americans’ phone calls or online information?
In March 2012, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga, questioned Alexander in response to a Wired.com article that month quoting several ex-NSA staffers describing phone and data surveillance of Americans.
Following is a transcript of the relevant parts of the exchange, which took place during a hearing of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee:
JOHNSON: Does the NSA routinely intercept American citizens’ emails?
JOHNSON: Does the NSA intercept Americans’ cell phone conversations?
JOHNSON: Google searches?
JOHNSON: Text messages?
JOHNSON: Amazon.com orders?
JOHNSON: Bank records?
JOHNSON: What judicial consent is required for NSA to intercept communications and information involving American citizens?
ALEXANDER: Within the United States, that would be the FBI lead. If it were a foreign actor in the United States, the FBI would still have to lead. It could work that with NSA or other intelligence agencies as authorized. But to conduct that kind of collection in the United States it would have to go through a court order, and the court would have to authorize it. We’re not authorized to do it, nor do we do it.
It’s amazing that such an enormous and obvious lie was spoken, for it’s apparent Gen. Alexander thinks we are utter fools.
For 200 years our government has been able to keep us safe while staying true to the values in the Constitution. There’s no reason we need to sacrifice those values now to such a liar and traitor as Gen. Alexander.