Citizens’ trust in government can be undermined many ways, but one straightforward breach is when the National Security Agency intentionally violates laws and rules that are intended to protect privacy and freedom of speech. What is to be done about the infractions and those who committed them?
Accountability begins in the executive branch because that is the source of management oversight, management, and supervision. The President appoints people to run the departments and agencies and to operate under the laws and regulations. It begins with Senate approval of those in charge. It follows with executive management and congressional oversight.
There have been infractions of executive oversight by the Obama administration that have been paraded across our daily screens, and that include the IRS abuses, Military scandals, and NSA leaks and abuses.
While there are examples of some successes in the realm of national security, the executive management approach and resulting performance is consistently suspect or deficient.
That was predictable and predicted by this analyst, having given scrutiny to Barack Obama’s management approach and the deficient lack of executive management experience.
There are four types of errors:
- Errors of omission -- lacking essential skill, knowledge, and experience
- Errors of commission -- deliberately committing breaches of correct performance and behavior
- Errors from lacking proficiency and practice
- Errors from lacking proper systems and tools
In the NSA breach and leaks scandals:
- The President failed to provide diligent oversight with hands on review of details in the sensitive area spying on citizens. He and Congress failed to appoint and approve the best executives to manage the respective departments and agencies.
- Apparently, someone in the chain of command decided to deliberately violate laws and regulations, and for them the prosecution awaits. Who decided and who approved , and who had the authority to keep performance within the bounds of laws and regulations?
- In matters such as these, it is inexcusable for persons in charge to be lacking in proficiency and to error in management and administration of privacy and security laws and regulations. Many and most of these people are lawyers, with the commander-in-chief being a Constitutional lawyer.
- In the case of the courts providing oversight, they admit in the story posted as a reference that they were not equipped to check and verify the performance behavior of the NSA. They could only take them at their word, and that was not enough.
Now, as for the fugitive whistleblower, Edward Snowden, without his having leaked the truth, the courts and citizens would never have learned about the infractions of justice against the citizens of the United States of America by the NSA.
"NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times, audit finds
Asked about this information, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court told The Washington Post that the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often government surveillance breaks the court's rules that aim to protect the privacy of Americans. Without drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of government claims that all the violations its staff reports are unintentional mistakes, the judge said."