Domestic surveillance successfully checks terror incidents now. Prefer longitudinal studies



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AT: “N/u New Freedom Act, Section 215 was just cut”



( ) Section 215 changes are minor – did not increase terror risk at all.


Kaplan ‘15

Fred M. Kaplan is an American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He holds a Ph.D. (1983) in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1978 to 1980, he was a foreign and defense policy adviser to U.S. Congressman Les Aspin (D, Wisconsin).His weekly "War Stories" column for Slate magazine covers international relations and U.S. foreign policy. “The NSA Debate We Should Be Having” – Slate – June 8th - http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2015/06/the_national_security_agency_s_surveillance_and_the_usa_freedom_act_the.2.html



Both sides are off the mark. The NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata was the subject of the first news stories based on the trove of highly classified documents that Snowden leaked, and it stirred the biggest commotion. But in fact the metadata program never comprised more than a tiny percentage of the agency’s vast and global surveillance net. The new law’s reform measure—to keep the metadata stored with the telecom companies, allowing NSA access only to specified materials, and then only through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—was first proposed not by some libertarian critic but by Gen. Keith Alexander, then-director of the NSA. Under the system that has been in effect, as authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act (or, rather, by the FISA court’s now-discredited reading of that section), the NSA routinely collected metadata from some of the biggest cellular companies—not the contents of conversations, but the phone numbers, dates, times, and duration of the calls. If someone inside the United States called a number linked to one of three terrorist organizations (including al-Qaida), an NSA alert system would note that fact. The NSA could then ask the FISA Court for permission to search the database for a list of all the other numbers that the American phone had called, as well as all the numbers that those numbers had called, going back as far as five years. If this search revealed a suspicious pattern, the NSA would turn the materials over to the FBI, which could seek a warrant to listen to conversations. Under the new reform law, called the USA Freedom Act, the NSA would no longer possess the database, so it would seek a FISA court order to get it from the telecom companies—and the FISA court would now include a privacy advocate who could argue against relinquishing the data. If the court sided with the NSA, what happened next would be exactly the same as before the new law passed. So, it’s not exactly a giant step in the annals of either national-security risk or civil liberties reform—unless one of two things had been true. First, if the NSA had been abusing the process—if analysts or senior officials had been searching metadata for personal, political, or vindictive purposes—the changes in custody and oversight would have a huge impact. But neither Snowden’s documents nor any subsequent probes have uncovered any such evidence. Second, if authoritarians or worse—say, modern-day versions of Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover—were to come to power, they could suspend the internal controls at NSA and use the agency’s vast databases to track domestic enemies or any target of their choosing. In that case, the Freedom Act would serve as a powerful brake to oppression: Because the government would no longer possess the data, it couldn’t exploit the data. That is the real—and the intended—effect of the reform: not so much to change the way surveillance technology is used today, but rather to limit the potential for abuse in the future. For now, surveillance through telephone metadata is pretty sparse. In 2012, the NSA queried the database for 288 U.S. telephone numbers. As a result of those queries, the agency passed just 12 tips to the FBI. None of those tips led to the capture of a single terrorist or the halting of a terrorist plot. In fact, according to President Obama’s independent commission on NSA reform, the telephone metadata program has never had any impact on countering terrorism.

( ) New Freedom Act hasn’t hampers vital surveillance programs


Kaplan ‘15

Fred M. Kaplan is an American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He holds a Ph.D. (1983) in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1978 to 1980, he was a foreign and defense policy adviser to U.S. Congressman Les Aspin (D, Wisconsin).His weekly "War Stories" column for Slate magazine covers international relations and U.S. foreign policy. “The NSA Debate We Should Be Having” – Slate – June 8th - http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2015/06/the_national_security_agency_s_surveillance_and_the_usa_freedom_act_the.2.html



The whole point—really, the only point—of the USA Freedom Act, and the overhaul of Section 215 telephone metadata, was to strengthen that oversight, to erect yet another fence that the intelligence agencies have to hurdle to get access to private information. But no one should infer from this that we’ve entered into a new era or that government surveillance and cyberespionage have been—for better or worse—dealt a serious setback. The NSA is not in retreat, nor are its counterparts in Russia, China, Israel, France, Iran, North Korea, and other countries. That’s not an excuse for complacency or alarm; it’s cause for vigilance, oversight—and an understanding of what these programs are about.

( ) Section 215 doesn’t take-out uniqueness:



  • It’s okay to alter a program if counter-terror capabilities are retained. That’ll still discourage attacks.


Lewis ‘14

James Andrew Lewis is a senior fellow and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy. Before joining CSIS, he worked at the US Departments of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. His diplomatic experience included negotiations on military basing in Asia, the Cambodia peace process, and the five-power talks on arms transfer restraint. Lewis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. “Underestimating Risk in the Surveillance Debate” - CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM – December - http://csis.org/publication/underestimating-risk-surveillance-debate



The chief difference between now and the situation before 9/11 is that all of these countries have put in place much more robust surveillance systems, nationally and in cooperation with others, including the United States, to detect and prevent potential attacks. Another difference is that the failure of U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the opportunities created by the Arab Spring have opened a new “front” for jihadi groups that makes their primary focus regional. Western targets still remain of interest, but are more likely to face attacks from domestic sympathizers. This could change if the well-resourced ISIS is frustrated in its efforts to establish a new Caliphate and turns its focus to the West. In addition, the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) continues to regularly plan attacks against U.S. targets.27 The incidence of attacks in the United States or Europe is very low, but we do not have good data on the number of planned attacks that did not come to fruition. This includes not just attacks that were detected and stopped, but also attacks where the jihadis were discouraged and did not initiate an operation or press an attack to its conclusion because of operational difficulties. These attacks are the threat that mass surveillance was created to prevent. The needed reduction in public anti-terror measures without increasing the chances of successful attack is contingent upon maintaining the capability provided by communications surveillance to detect, predict, and prevent attacks. Our opponents have not given up; neither should we.
  • 215 wasn’t eliminated and wasn’t a vital capability.


Clarke ‘13

(et al; This is the Final Report and Recommendations of The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. President Obama ordered a blue-ribbon task force to review domestic surveillance. This report releases the findings of that group. The report was headed by five experts – including Richard Alan Clarke, who is the former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism for the United States. Other expert contributors include Michael Joseph Morell, who was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and served as acting director twice in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013 and Cass Robert Sunstein, who was the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration and is currently a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “LIBERTY AND SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD” – December 12th, 2013 – Easily obtained via a google search. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=https%3A%2F2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fdocs%2F2013-12 12_rg_final_report.pdf&ei=Db0yVdDjKIKdNtTXgZgE&usg=AFQjCNH0S_Fo9dckL9bRarVpi4M6pq6MQ&bvm=bv.91071109,d.eXY)

NSA believes that on at least a few occasions, information derived from the section 215 bulk telephony meta-data program has contributed to its efforts to prevent possible terrorist attacks, either in the United States or somewhere else in the world. More often, negative results from section 215 queries have helped to alleviate concern that particular terrorist suspects are in contact with co-conspirators in the United States. Our review suggests that the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of section 215 telephony meta-data was not essential to preventing attacks and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional section 215 orders. Moreover, there is reason for caution about the view that the program is efficacious in alleviating concern about possible terrorist connections, given the fact that the meta-data captured by the program covers only a portion of the records of only a few telephone service providers.

AT: “Empirically False – the program was shut down for two days”



( ) 215 never expired for ONGOING investigations – the Sunset was written differently than their authors assume.


Wittes ‘14

Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books and a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law. “On the Oddity of the Patriot Act Sunset Provisions” – Lawfare - Monday, November 24, 2014 – This card is internally excerpting a New York Times piece from November 19th, 2014. That piece is written by Charlie Savage - who is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times. He is known for his work on presidential power and national security legal policy matters. He received a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2007 for his coverage of presidential signing statements. http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/11/on-the-oddity-of-the-patriot-act-sunset-provisions/

Last week, the New York Times‘s Charlie Savage had what seems to me a pretty big, if under-discussed, scoop—or perhaps we should say that he channelled to the public a pretty big scoop by former Senate Intelligence Committee chief counsel Michael Davidson. The news, which certainly caught me unawares, is that the Patriot Act sunset provision—stated in Section 105 of this law and extended until June 1, 2015 in this one—doesn’t quite say what everyone—from advocates to members of Congress to the administration itself—seems to think it says. Writes Savage: The law says that Section 215, along with another section of the Patriot Act, expires on “June 1, 2015, except that former provisions continue in effect with respect to any particular foreign intelligence investigation that began before June 1, 2015, or with respect to any particular offense or potential offense that began or occurred before June 1, 2015.” Michael Davidson, who until his retirement in 2011 was the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top staff lawyer, said this meant that as long as there was an older counterterrorism investigation still open, the court could keep issuing Section 215 orders to phone companies indefinitely for that investigation. “It was always understood that no investigation should be different the day after the sunset than it was the day before,” Mr. Davidson said, adding: “There are important reasons for Congress to legislate on what, if any, program is now warranted. But considering the actual language of the sunset provision, no one should believe the present program will disappear solely because of the sunset.” Mr. Davidson said the widespread assumption by lawmakers and executive branch officials, as well as in news articles in The New York Times and elsewhere, that the program must lapse next summer without new legislation was incorrect.

Sunset provisions were soft – they never stopped ongoing investigations.


Wittes ‘14

Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books and a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law. “On the Oddity of the Patriot Act Sunset Provisions” – Lawfare - Monday, November 24, 2014 – This card is internally excerpting a New York Times piece from November 19th, 2014. That piece is written by Charlie Savage - who is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times. He is known for his work on presidential power and national security legal policy matters. He received a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2007 for his coverage of presidential signing statements. http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/11/on-the-oddity-of-the-patriot-act-sunset-provisions/

The reason Davidson’s point matters is that it turns a hard-stop deadline of June 1, 2015 for new legislation into a very soft deadline. The government has a lot of national security investigations focused on counterterrorism open at any given time. Given that the 215 program involves orders to the telephone companies to produce all metadata records, on the theory that the group of them is—as a whole—relevant to an investigation, the wording of the sunset would appear to allow any one of these investigations to support continuation of metadata collection for as long as that investigation persists. Some of these investigations, moreover, will persist for a very long time—years and years and years. So the text, in principle, perhaps perversely seems to me to do pretty nearly what Jaffer says it would be “perverse” to read it to do—that is, bootstrap itself to long-term, if not quite permanent, 215 authority, at least as to some broad investigations.

AT: “US is losing the war on terror”



It’s not about “winning or losing” in absolute terms. The US is doing well – and far better than if softer intel approaches - like plan – were used.


Zenko ‘15

Micah Zenko is the Douglas Dillon fellow in the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Previously, he worked for five years at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and in Washington, DC, at the Brookings Institution, Congressional Research Service, and State Department's Office of Policy Planning. He also previously served as vice chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Terrorism. Zenko has published on a range of national security issues, including articles in Foreign Affairs, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Defense and Security Analysis, and Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and op-eds in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times. The author is internally quoting Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan – “CIA Director: We’re Winning the War on Terror, But It Will Never End” - Politics, Power and Preventive Action – a blog coordinated by the Council of Foreign Relations - April 8, 2015 - http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2015/04/08/cia-director-were-winning-the-war-on-terror-but-it-will-never-end/



Last night, Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan participated in a question-and-answer session at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. The first thirty-seven minutes consisted of an unusually probing exchange between Brennan and Harvard professor Graham Allison (full disclosure: Graham is a former boss of mine). Most notably, between 19:07 and 29:25 in the video, Allison pressed Brennan repeatedly about whether the United States is winning the war on terrorism and why the number of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups has only increased since 9/11: “There seem to be more of them than when we started…How are we doing?” Brennan replied: If I look across the board in terms of since 9/11 at terrorist organizations, and if the United States in all of its various forms. In intelligence, military, homeland security, law enforcement, diplomacy. If we were not as engaged against the terrorists, I think we would be facing a horrendous, horrendous environment. Because they would have taken full advantage of the opportunities that they have had across the region… We have worked collectively as a government but also with our international partners very hard to try and root many of them out. Might some of these actions be stimulants to others joining their ranks? Sure, that’s a possibility. I think, though it has taken off of the battlefield a lot more terrorists, than it has put on. This statement is impossible to evaluate or measure because the U.S. government has consistently refused to state publicly which terrorist organizations are deemed combatants, and can therefore be “taken out on the battlefield.” However, relying upon the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism,the estimated strength of all al-Qaeda-affiliated groups has grown or stayed the same since President Obama came into office. Of course, non-al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have arisen since 9/11, including the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which the Central Intelligence Agency estimated last September to contain up to 31,500 fighters, and Boko Haram, which has perhaps 10,000 committed members. However, the most interesting question posed to Brennan came at the very end from a Harvard freshman who identified himself as Julian: “We’ve been fighting the war on terror since 2001. Is there an end in sight, or should we get used to this new state of existence? Brennan replied: It’s a long war, unfortunately. But it’s been a war that has been in existence for millennia, at the same time—the use of violence for political purposes against noncombatants by either a state actor or a subnational group. Terrorism has taken many forms over the years. What is more challenging now is, again, the technology that is available to terrorists, the great devastation that can be created by even a handful of folks, and also mass communication that just proliferates all of this activity and incitement and encouragement. So you have an environment now that’s very conducive to that type of propaganda and recruitment efforts, as well as the ability to get materials that are going to kill people. And so this is going to be something, I think, that we’re always going to have to be vigilant about. There is evil in the world and some people just want to kill for the sake of killing…This is something that, whether it’s from this group right now or another group, I think the ability to cause damage and violence and kill will be with us for many years to come. We just have to not kill our way out of this because that’s not going to address it. We need to stop those attacks that are in train but we also have to address some of those underlying factors and conditions. I’m not saying that poverty causes somebody to become a terrorist, or a lack of governance, but they certainly do allow these terrorist organizations to grow and they take full advantage of those opportunities. To summarize, the war on terrorism is working, compared to inaction or other policies. But, the American people should expect it to continue for millennia, or as long as lethal technologies and mass communication remain available to evil people.

Fight on terror on the brink = ISIS losing Tal Abyad changed the game


Damon and Tuysuz 6/23 (Arwa Damon - senior international correspondent and Gul Tuysuz –reporter, “ISIS defeat could give coalition blueprint for success” http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/22/world/arwa-damon-tal-abyad-blueprint-for-success/) //CW

Tal Abyad, Syria (CNN) ISIS has been forced from one of its stronghold outposts, a key access point to its self-declared capital, where it was entrenched for two years. And the defeat along a vital stretch of terrain could be a potential blueprint for more military successes against the militants. In freshly-liberated Tal Abyad -- not far from the Syria-Turkey border -- the scars of battle are everywhere, as are ISIS booby traps. ISIS ruled this rural landscape with impunity, fortifying it to defend a vital frontier and a key access point to their capital. The YPG, the Kurdish fighting force, had tried and failed to capture key towns in the past. ISIS would counter each assault with heavy weapons, car bombs and suicide bombers, each time forcing the YPG to retreat. But in the past month, the battlefield dynamics have changed. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes pounded ISIS fighting positions, taking out the terrorist group's armored vehicles, heavy weapons, headquarters, and other targets, allowing the YPG to barrel through around 80 kilometers (50 miles) of ISIS territory to reach the major prize -- Tal Abyad. The town is the gateway to a crucial border crossing with Turkey. The combination of coalition power in the air and a committed force on the ground was so effective that ISIS fighters rapidly retreated. ISIS blew up a bridge, and put up a fierce, but brief, fight -- and then drew back. The Kurdish force had estimated it would take them weeks to defeat ISIS in Tal Abyad. In the end, it happened in two days. YPG leaders on the ground tell us that the effectiveness of the assault was thanks to direct coordination between the coalition and their upper command. "When the coalition against ISIS was formed, we were the only force that was committed in the fight against ISIS," said Bilal Rojava, the YPG commander overseeing the Tal Abyad front. "The coalition forces saw this and coordinated with us." That coordination began during the battle for Kobani last fall, and has developed since. Now, the drive to Tal Abyad is scattered with the carcasses of ISIS armored vehicles and the remains of its defensive positions. Buildings once occupied by ISIS, the walls still etched with crude renditions of its feared flag and Quranic inscriptions, lie abandoned. Cross-hair targets spray-painted on the walls of a former ISIS base are peppered with bullet holes. Huge dirt berms that blocked the road have been cleared to allow vehicles to pass. There are underground tunnels, so that ISIS fighters could move undetected, around one village we are taken through. The tunnels -- clearly dug out by heavy machines -- are about a meter (3.2 feet) wide and high enough to easily stand in. Metal sheets form the roof, covered in a thick layer of dirt, are hard to detect with the naked eye. But they are not thick enough to fool the thermal cameras the coalition has at its disposal. Inside Tal Abyad, ISIS' seemingly endless supply of armaments is evident. In the back of a mosque named for former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the YPG is clearing out an ISIS bomb-making factory. The flatbed of a truck is half-filled with artillery rounds waiting to be hauled off. There are large artillery rounds, detonation caps, and plastic bags of white sticky powder -- a low-grade explosive. A tailor-turned-YPG weapons specialist tells us the white powder is a key element in ISIS's notorious and unending suicide bombs. The YPG is still clearing out towns and villages from booby-traps and mines. In one village, we hear an explosion in the distance. The local commander takes off to determine the cause, returning to tell us that they were from explosives ISIS left behind. In Tal Abyad, a building is off limits. ISIS is known to booby trap buildings, and the YPG commander tells us not to touch the door. Through the closed gate and hazy windows one can barely see into the guard house, but stacked against its back wall are makeshift bombs with strands of detonation cord snaking out of them. Throughout the ruined town and surrounding countryside, there is evidence of how well armed ISIS is. Its arsenal has been massively enhanced by battlefield gains that began in Mosul and spanned over huge swaths of Iraq. Even the committed YPG had been struggling to beat ISIS's defenses -- until the airstrikes began. "If the coalition strikes, and there is no force on the ground, there would be no real impact on ISIS. And if we advanced without coalition strikes, we would not have advanced this fast," Bilal said. This is perhaps the formula the U.S. wants to implement. Backed by coalition airstrikes, an effective and reliable partner on the ground can succeed in defeating ISIS. But the battlefield is vast, and in this complex region with competing interests, a blueprint for success is hardly easy to replicate.

The war on terror is on the brink — status quo surveillance solves, but removal of any one part can cause collapse.


Hamilton 15 — Lee Hamilton, Professor of Practice and International Law at Indiana University, Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, J.D. from DePauw University, 2015 (“To Win the War on Terror, We Must Win the War of Ideas,” Huffington Post, February 20th, accessible online at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-h-hamilton/to-win-the-war-on-terror-_b_6722214.html, accessed on 6-20-15)

Clearly then, the unpredictable danger posed by terrorism has not subsided. The fact that terrorism is becoming increasingly decentralized makes dealing with it even more difficult. While ISIS has become the major terrorist group, it is one of many groups engaged in deadly activities, including al-Qaeda.

The question now is: Can we roll ISIS back? To do so, we need a more comprehensive approach and a unity of effort that fully engages the president, Congress, our military and intelligence capabilities, and our allies around the world.

Without doubt, we have experienced considerable success in the fight against terror. Almost weekly we hear of top terrorist leaders being removed by our drone and other anti-terrorism strikes. Yet somehow the terrorists seem to recover quickly and keep coming. Our attacks, while effective, haven't quite quelled the terrorists' momentum, which is reflected by the numbers of members and new recruits. In 2001, by one estimate, we identified about 300 al-Qaeda members and affiliates worldwide. In 2015, there are more than 30,000 al-Qaeda fighters in Syria alone.



We should not forget the successes we've had in the fight against terror. At the same time, surveying the current landscape suggests that the U.S. and its allies need to up their games considerably in dealing with ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Upping our game will require that we focus more intently on several critical components of our counterterrorism policy. Among those components is intelligence. Because it can prevent attacks, intelligence is everyone's favorite weapon in the fight against terrorism.

Simply put, even the smallest amount of information, combined with other bits of information, can prevent a massive attack. However, gathering meaningful intelligence has become an increasingly formidable task, since, once again, we're not dealing with a single state. We're faced with a diffuse threat and groups that continue to evolve, spread out and decentralize. ISIS is expanding beyond Syria and Iraq to Libya, Egypt, Algeria and other countries.

Trend goes Neg – US just scored huge victories in the War on Terror.


S.I.N. ‘15

(Strategic Intelligence News publishes intelligence reports, geopolitics, military intelligence, and crime reports analysis. SIN analysis are reached through the careful procedures that include conducting interviews, observation of specific intelligence leads, and participation in work groups in intelligence analysis - “U.S. Strikes Kills Nasir al-Wuhayshi; Top Al Qaida Leader Yemen Affiliate” – June 16th - http://www.intelligencebriefs.com/u-s-strikes-kills-nasir-al-wuhayshi-top-al-qaida-leader-yemen-affiliate/)



U.S. strikes has left a top Al Qaida commander dead. Al Qaida has confirmed Nasir al-Wuhayshi who is number 2 figure (rank) and commander of its powerful Yemen affiliate killed in the US strikes. Nasir al-Wuhayshi was the second in command and the deputy of the Al Qaida top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri who once also served as Osama bin Laden’s personal assistant. Al Qaida confirmed the death of their leader in a video statement released early Tuesday, 16 June 2015 by the terror network’s media wing in the Arabian Peninsula. In the statement they also said his immediate deputy Qassim al-Rimi, has been named its official new leader. The killing of Al Qaida Terror network number 2 commander is a big blow to the affiliate terror groups such as, the Somalia based jihadist , the Al Shabaab, Al Hijra and the al Muhajiroun of East Africa.

( ) WMD attacks will inevitably be attempted. US will win. Intel gathering’s key


McDONOUGH ‘15

DOUG McDONOUGH -managing editor at Plainview Herald. Internally quoting James Olson – who has 31 years as an American spy – “U.S. winning the war on terror” – MyPlainview.com - February 28, 2015 - http://www.myplainview.com/news/article_c1881ec4-bf9b-11e4-a9b1-b342ff9491d6.html

After spending 31 years as an American spy, James Olson is blunt in his assessment. "Make no mistake, our country is at war," he said Thursday while keynoting the annual Plainview Chamber of Commerce banquet. "It's a war on terror, and it will be long, bloody and deadly. But America will win this war because our best young people today are stepping forward in droves." While many of those are putting on uniforms and joining the ranks of the nation's combat forces on the front lines, still more are going in harm's way behind the scenes as counterintelligence operatives. "We are on the front lines in the war on terror," Olson warns. "And we will be hit again, inside our own borders. It will be a weapon of mass destruction, and no region or sector is immune from this attack. The best way to combat this threat is through good intelligence."

AT: “Name an attack that the program stopped”



Our 1NC Boot ev says 50 terror attacks have been stopped. Our Lewis ev proves others have been discouraged.



Meta-data does not need to directly stop attacks – it’s indirectly allowed for prioritization.


Lewis ‘14

James Andrew Lewis is a senior fellow and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy. Before joining CSIS, he worked at the US Departments of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. His diplomatic experience included negotiations on military basing in Asia, the Cambodia peace process, and the five-power talks on arms transfer restraint. Lewis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. “Underestimating Risk in the Surveillance Debate” - CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM – December - http://csis.org/publication/underestimating-risk-surveillance-debate



Assertions that a collection program contributes nothing because it has not singlehandedly prevented an attack reflect an ill-informed understanding of how the United States conducts collection and analysis to prevent harmful acts against itself and its allies. Intelligence does not work as it is portrayed in filmssolitary agents do not make startling discoveries that lead to dramatic, last-minute success (nor is technology consistently infallible). Intelligence is a team sport. Perfect knowledge does not exist and success is the product of the efforts of teams of dedicated individuals from many agencies, using many tools and techniques, working together to assemble fragments of data from many sources into a coherent picture. Analysts assemble this mosaic from many different sources and based on experience and intuition. Luck is still more important than anyone would like and the alternative to luck is acquiring more information. This ability to blend different sources of intelligence has improved U.S. intelligence capabilities and gives us an advantage over some opponents.

Aff demand to “name one attack the program stopped” is wrong and a poor standard.


Branda ‘14

(et al; JOYCE R. BRANDA, Acting Assistant Attorney General, BRIEF FOR THE APPELLEES - Amicus Brief for Smith v. Obama – before the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. “Amici” means “friend of the court” and – in this context - is legal reference to the Reporters Committee – October 2nd - https://www.eff.org/document/governments-smith-answering-brief)



Plaintiff asks the government to show more, claiming that the program is an unconstitutional means of serving the paramount need of preventing terrorist attacks because the government has not “describe[d] a single instance” in which the program has “actually stopped an imminent attack” or “aided . . . in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.” Pl. Br. 33 (quoting Klayman, 957 F. Supp. 2d. at 40). The Constitution does not require an anti-terrorism program to have demonstrably prevented a specific terrorist attack to be reasonable. See Von Raab, 489 U.S. at 676 n.3 (“a demonstration of danger as to any particular airport or airline” is not required since “[i]t is sufficient that the Government have a compelling interest in preventing an otherwise pervasive societal problem from spreading”); Cassidy, 471 F.3d at 84-85; MacWade, 460 F.3d at 272. Nor is it problematic that the Section 215 program is only “one means” among many government programs that work together to accomplish the paramount goal of countering terrorism. Pl. Br. 35. To protect the Nation, the government employs a range of counter-terrorism tools and investigative methods in concert, which often serve different functions in order to complement one another in the service of achieving the overarching goal of preventing attacks. Those tools rarely, however, operate in isolation, and nothing in the Fourth Amendment’s special needs jurisprudence requires a showing that any single program is essential or itself prevented a particular attack. The government has provided examples in which the Section 215 program provided timely and valuable assistance to ongoing counter-terrorism investigations. See ER 74-75.
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