NSA deletes 'honesty', 'openness', 'trust' and 'honor' from Mission Statement
The super-secret agency that monitors all electronic communications of Americans, a resource that was used to spy on the Trump campaign through a questionable warrant from the FISA Court, suddenly has decided to revise its mission statement page. A spokesman for the NSA is claiming it’s no big deal, but it is one heckuva weird coincidence in the midst of a major scandal regarding what looks like abuse of its spying powers.
Jean Marc Manach of The Intercept – a website funded by ebay billionaire Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald – noticed the change and is suspicious (as am I).
Since at least May 2016, the surveillance agency had featured honesty as the first of four “core values” listed on NSA.gov, alongside “respect for the law,” “integrity,” and “transparency.” The agency vowed on the site to “be truthful with each other.”
On January 12, however, the NSA removed the mission statement page – which can still be viewed through the Internet Archive – and replaced it with a new version. Now, the parts about honesty and the pledge to be truthful have been deleted. The agency’s new top value is “commitment to service,” which it says means “excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission.”
Those are not the only striking alterations. In its old core values, the NSA explained that it would strive to be deserving of the “great trust” placed in it by national leaders and American citizens. It said that it would “honor the public’s need for openness.” But those phrases are now gone; all references to “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” have disappeared.
The response form the NSA essentially says, “nothing to see here, move along” or, alternatively, “Trust us.”
In response to questions from The Intercept on Tuesday, the NSA played down the alterations. Thomas Groves, a spokesperson for the agency, said: “It’s nothing more than a website update, that’s all it is.”
If it is so trivial, why have a Misison Statement int he first place? And why now? We are being asked to accept a lot of coincidences from agencies that have scary powers in an era of Deep State resistance to a legitimate election.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation is no fan of the ultimate spy mechanism:
It would not be unreasonable for the House Intelligence Committee to seek information on the process by which these alterations were decided.