Wednesday, June 3, 2015

If it doesn't work, why keep it?

I've been listening with some bemusement to the recent discussions about the Patriot Act and the ability of the National Security Agency to collect and store bulk data on phone calls. One thing that's been mentioned a  number of times is that no one who supports that data collection has been able to cite an example of where that program actually accomplished something. They can't point to a single case where a suspect was arrested or an incident averted because of their trolling through a gazillion phone records. One has to assume this program has been costing many millions of dollars to operate: computer equipment isn't cheap, software had to be developed, programmers and analysts hired, and so on. One would also assume that if you're going to be spending money by the tractor-trailer load, you'd have at least one example you could point to and say, "See. It was worth spending $100,000,000!" or whatever the amount might be. But nope, no examples, no lowlifes doing perp walks, no suicide vests confiscated, no jihadist training camps shut down, nada. Nothing to brag about, which is bizarre when you consider how many years the NSA has been doing this stuff.

So why keep it? Because, according to various politicians, it is absolutely vital to our national security interests. Unbelievable. At this point, the only thing it appears vital to is the bottom line for various defense contractors.

Then again, politicians are rather prone to cling to stuff that doesn't work. The landscape is littered with failed programs that no one seems able to kill. It's classic -- having shoveled mountains of money at something, no one wants to admit it was all a huge mistake. If money is being spent, something must be happening.


  1. Yup, you nailed this topic. Have a good day. Me

  2. Remember how well that nuclear powered airplane did back in the fifties????

  3. Anything supported by Republicans with a patriotic name I find suspect. Who actually knows what is in the fine print?'
    the Ol'Buzzard

  4. The purpose of all this data has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with separating the sheep from the goats when the Dominionists finally take full control.


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