Over the past couple of weeks, there have been some terrific speeches and op-ed columns defending the NSA domestic surveillance program, most notably from General Michael Hayden, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence (and a former director of the NSA) and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.
Here's another one to add to the list, from Debra Burlingame, a former attorney and the sister of Chic Burlingame, the pilot of a hijacked American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon on 9-11. As she reminds us, the bureaucratic "walls" that existed before September 11, 2001 (including the FISA court) made imperative the implementation the Patriot Act, and expansion of the NSA program.
I agree whole-heartedly with Ms. Burlingame. Less than five years after 9-11, it is almost incomprehensible that members of the Senate are willing to play fast and loose with our security, by (a) refusing to renew the Patriot Act in its current form, and (b) holding hearings that will further undermine the NSA program. But for many on the left, politics trumps everything, including national security.