Tick, tick, tick . . .
Slate takes a brief look at intel whiste-blowers and the potential significance of Russ’ testimony next week. I’m particularly fond of the wrap-up:
Sources in addition to Tice sketched out the wiretapping program for the Times. But since the revelations became public, no one else has come forward. In an echo chamber of unnamed “senior officials,” Tice has the virtue of being a flesh-and-blood witness with a name and a professional history. He can testify about his experiences working in the most secret divisions of the most secret intelligence agency in the country. He will be vigorously criticized by the administration and the NSA. And the details of his professional history, to say nothing of the Orwellian stories he may relate, will make it all too easy to dismiss his claims. But as the old joke goes, “You’d be paranoid too, if they were trying to kill you.” Perhaps if we knew what he knows, we’d be a little more paranoid ourselves.
Russ has scary knowledge about all sorts of stuff, and while it is convenient for the gov’t to claim he’s a nut, it is telling that the only people who say he is a nut are the ones who are under the gun.
Despite any revelations he may make, you can be assured that the intel-challenged press (by that I mean knowledge about intelligence, not stupid) will craft at tale that is going to provide fodder for the ACLU, EFF, rabid lefties, etc., etc. and their shrill calls for the neutering of our intelligence capabilities. Whatever happens just remember: US intelligence is crazy good at some things, dismally bad at others. It is also run by citizens who are just as susceptible to being violated as anyone else (there is no “get out of monitoring free” card). Hard as it may be to believe, it really does boil down to a numbers game, and the odds are vastly in your favor.