TCS Daily: Who’s Watching the Watchers?

My latest piece for TCS Daily, “Who’s Watching the Watchers?” is up. It summarizes my thoughts to date on the NSA surveillance scandal and answers some questions posed Monday by TCS contributing editor Arnold Kling.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Published Elsewhere, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    Good article—much too lenient to the White House, but then I knew we disagreed on that.

    I would note only that the sole reason ” the press, the Congress, and the courts” will be “doing their jobs” is the NY Times story’s finally being published, leaks and all.

  2. spencer says:

    I agree good article, and was just point out that the sources of the NY Times story are exactly these “good people” that constitute the professional cadre at NSA and other intelligence agencies.

    If they are “leaking” the story to the press these “good people” probably have some reason to believe that the administration is abusing the trust vested in the institutions like the NSA.

    Remember, during the run up to the invasion of Iraq there were a constant stream of complains from the “good people” that make up the professionals at the CIA and other intelligence agencies that the administration was abusing the system and “stove-pipping” intelligence. Maybe if we had paid more attention to these “good people” before the invasion of Iraq we would not be in such a mess over there.

  3. Herb Ely says:

    I agree with Spencer. The intelligence community has screening processes in place to assure that he correct intelligence is included in the NIE. In the case of Iraqi WMD and connection to WMD, the process failed. Competent and dedicated individuals tried to warn the administration that it was relying on questionable sources. Their warnings went unheeded. Why should we believe that NSA monitoring of our communications will be any more reliable or respectful of our civil liberties?