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Government conspiracy theories aren´t crazy
USA Today, by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Original Article

Posted By:Judy W., 1/21/2014 5:45:16 AM

At a tax symposium at Pepperdine Law School last week, former IRS chief counsel Donald Korb was asked, "On a scale of 1-10 ... how damaging is the current IRS scandal?" His answer: 9.5. Other tax experts on the panel called it "awful," and said that it has done "tremendous damage." I think that´s right. And I think that the damage extends well beyond the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, I think that the government agency suffering the most damage isn´t the IRS, but the National Security Agency. Because the NSA, even more than the IRS, depends on public trust. And now

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: jansgraphix, 1/21/2014 7:02:16 AM     (No. 9699650)

Good article. And this from a liberal publication!

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Judy W., 1/21/2014 7:57:15 AM     (No. 9699704)

USA Today publishes op-eds, that is opposing viewpoints. Glenn Reynolds has a weekly column.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: tren9, 1/21/2014 9:02:45 AM     (No. 9699806)

It only makes good sense to be paranoid it everyone is out to get you.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: FlatCityGirl, 1/21/2014 9:12:35 AM     (No. 9699820)

FTA: Spend a little while on Twitter or in Internet comment sections and you´ll see a significant number of people who think that the NSA may have been relaying intelligence about the Mitt Romney campaign to Obama operatives, or that Chief Justice John Roberts´ sudden about-face in the Obamacare case might have been driven by some sort of NSA-facilitated blackmail.

I never understood how a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a Speaker of the House could be blackmailed until I read John Sandford´s work of fiction, The Hanged Man´s Song. It wasn´t that I didn´t believe it, I just couldn´t understand it.

If you want to understand just how it could happen --and I believe has happened and is happening now, read the book.

Here´s a clue: meta-data mining serves no purpose whatsoever unless you have a target.

In other words, all of the billions upon countless billions of data NSA and other agencies is gathering is gobbledygook unless you´re looking for a specific target: a specific telephone number, or a specific e-mail address, or a specific name. Let me clue you: it ain´t terrorists. They are simply a by-product of the actual targets. An accident if the data-miners run across one.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: toddh, 1/21/2014 10:34:20 AM     (No. 9699945)

"With the ongoing revelations that [the NSA] has been vacuuming up telephone conversations from, basically, every American"

There is a difference of both degree and kind between phone billing information and conversations. Reynolds is either hyperbolic or a liar.

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