Cranking Up the Washington Lie Machine
Just for the sake of argument, let's suspend our disbelief for a moment and pretend (I know it's a stretch) that the Obama administration and the apologists for the nation's spy apparatus in Congress, Democratic and Republican, are telling us the gods' honest truth.
They have, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, "amped up" their defense of the NSA's massive spying program, claiming that not two, but 50 terrorist plots have been foiled thanks to their metadata mining and their intrusive monitoring of our phone and email conversations and website browsing activity.
Think what that means: for years now, the Jihadists have known that the US spy apparatus is ubiquitous, and that it is able to track all their communications. Of course they knew this, because they would have seen all these plots being foiled (the real ones, not the many ones that were created by FBI or CIA provocateurs and plants), and, not being stupid, they would have put it together and realized that the plots that depended upon a lot of phone calls and internet communications were getting busted up, while ones that were handled either solo, or that were developed by careful word-of-mouth communication and courier were managing to succeed.
But we poor schmucks, the American people, have been left in ignorance, imagining that our carefully crafted and painstakingly memorized six or eight-digit passwords, including at least one letter and one number (or if we're really good, some symbol or other), were doing the job of keeping our online lives private and that our unlisted numbers, or our decision not to list an address with the phone company, were keeping our telephonic communications secure.
Ho ho! Were we fooled!
But really (stepping back into the real world again now), are we going to believe this nonsense about 50 NSA-foiled plots?
The reason the NSA's success rate at defeating terror plots leapt overnight from an initial unimpressive two to an impressive 50 is that it turns out that the American people were really not very happy or grateful about learning that they had surrendered all privacy to Big Brother in return for the alleged disrupting of one wacko who had a dream, though poorly conceived, of bombing the New York subway, and the belated capture of another guy who had already allegedly done all the target-scouting work for the successful massacre in the hotel and train station of Mumbai, in India. That's clearly not a great record to stand on, so now we're being told by the NSA that actually it wasn't just two plots that were foiled by their Orwellian spying, it was two score and 10. Much better, right?