The head of the NSA was back before Congress Thursday, this time in a closed session to detail the terrorist plots that have been thwarted by the NSA data gathering programs.
Most members of Congress seemed impressed – but one member clearly as not.
“Our founding fathers objected to general warrants that allowed soldiers to go from house to house searching homes. I think they would be equally horrified by a government that goes phone to phone,” said Republican Congressman Rand Paul.
Paul equates the NSA’s data collection with soldiers going from house to house.
But this isn’t about soldiers bullying citizens. This is about information gathering and deception. And it turns out the founding fathers were very much into deception – one in particular.
“I think we should just face it that [George] Washington was able to tell a lie and he told a great many of them,” said author Alexander Rose.
Rose is the author of a book called “Washington’s Spies,” and based on what he told CSPAN, Washington would have been right at home at the NSA.
“This is a book that portrays Washington as a man who positively enjoyed reading other people’s mail,” said Rose.
We don’t know if he’d have collected phone records – since he didn’t know what a phone was, but listen to his philosophy of information gathering.
“Intelligence gathering was not about scoops, but rather consisted of laboriously assembling together a myriad of random facts,” said Rose.
And just so you know – that story about him admitting to chopping down a cherry tree is a fib invented by his biographer. Washington would’ve loved it.