The super-secret National Security Agency's director, General Keith Alexander, told a Senate panel that newly-outed domestic surveillance programs have helped stop ''dozens'' of terror events in the U.S. and abroad. (June 12, 2013)
It's dozens. Of terrorist events that these have helped. -- prevent it. It's very very difficult I think. To have a transparent debate. About secret programs approved by a secret court issuing secret court orders. Based on secret interpretations of the law I want the American people to know that we're trying to be transparent here. Protect civil liberties and privacy but also this. Here in this country I'm trying to look at the resonate background for this individual who had access. To this highly classified information it's such a young age. Was limited. Educational and work experience part of it as a security guard. And ask you if -- trouble I do that concerns about that over the process senator I have great concerns over that. That they can -- the access that he had. The process that we did and those are things that I have to look into it and picks from my hand and -- cyber arena. Some of these folks have tremendous skills to operate networks he had great skills in that area we keep hearing Snowdon has. And skill so -- maybe did. You know which is quite sure swimmer. And -- champion swimmer doesn't mean we orderly wouldn't see the concern here. That the American public is fearful. That in this. Massive amount of data you'd get that theirs the ability of the federal government to synthesize. That data. In the end. Blurt something more. Then maybe what was ever. Contemplated by the Patriot Act the methodology would be let's put into a secure environment. Call detail records. These are two from records so we don't know anything it's in their we will search that unless we have some reason electrical suspicion. About a terrorist related organizations. We have to prove that we had that. Then given that we can now look and say who with this guy talking to in the United States and why. Yeah so the system just gives us back who it was talking to but he didn't collect it. How do you know who he was talking. -- walking you're you're walking a very difficult tightrope here. Because. There -- demands that you release. Previously classified. Information. To not just members of congress. But to the general public. And without it and if you don't do that this frenzy of mischaracterization. Of these programs will continue in the public I would rather take a public meeting -- people think I'm hiding something. Then to jeopardize the security of this country. Having said that some of this is out there in his right that we have that debate. And so what makes sense to put out there so that people know that what we're doing is right. We got to do that.