NSA Chief Heads to Capitol Hill to Champion the NSA's Terror-Fighting

Philip Bump
The Atlantic Wire

The House Intelligence Committee invited Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, to Capitol Hill for a discussion of his agency's surveillance tactics. You can watch it live below.

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Alexander returns to Capitol Hill only six days after a Senate hearing on cybersecurity and NSA budgets turned into an unexpectedly strong grilling of his agency's surveillance tactics. The House Intelligence hearing is specifically predicated on those tactics, but with an obvious predisposition. Its title: "How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries." Whether or not Alexander will agree with that formulation is left as an exercise for the reader.

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During today's hearing, Alexander is expected to offer more details on occasions during which the NSA has used the tools at its disposal to halt terror attacks in the United States and abroad.

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Joining Alexander are three witnesses unlikely to offer a strongly divergent worldview. They are: James Cole, Deputy Attorney General; Sean Joyce, Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Robert Litt, General Counsel, Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel.

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Photo: Alexander testifying before the Senate last week. (AP)