NSA Chief Defends Spying On Americans, Claims 50 Foiled Terrorist Plots

NSA Chief General Keith Alexander isn’t apologizing for the National Security Administration and its practice of spying on Americans. In fact, the Chief wants everyone to know that such spying has prevented at least 50 terrorist plots around the world.

Speaking during a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Alexander proclaims:

“In recent years these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the U.S. and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe to include helping prevent potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11.”

The NSA Chief was speaking to the House Intelligence Committee when he gave additional details on his agency’s surveillance programs. Alexander spoke about two specific instances which included preventing an attack at the New York Stock Exchange and stopping the bankrolling of Somalia terrorists by a person located in the United States.

While the NSA admits to preventing an attack in New York City, Chief Alexander said he would only share details of that foiled attempt via classified channels.

Last week, declassified documents revealed that a terrorist attack in a New York City subway was stopped as a result of NSA spying efforts. That same report also claims that NSA officials were able to stop a terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper that printed cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad.

Speaking directly about the NSA’s leaked documents, Alexander tells the Congressional committee:

“I think it was irreversible and significant damage to this nation.”

When asked by committee members if the leaks have hurt the United States against its enemies, Alexander responded with the predictable statement, “I believe it has and I believe it will hurt us and our allies.”

Do you think the NSA spying program in American is helping Americans stay safe, or should the agency focused on its original goal of monitoring foreign communications?