The director of the National Security Agency was overheard offering a round of beer to the FBI's second-in-command following Tuesday's congressional hearing on the NSA's controversial surveillance programs.
The three-hour hearing had just wrapped up around 1 p.m. when NSA Director Keith Alexander turned to FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and praised him for his testimony.
'Thank you, Sean,' Alexander said, according to a clip of the exchange that was first reported by Ben Doernberg.
'Tell your boss I owe him another friggin' beer,' he added.
Joyce repeatedly praised the programs as 'essential' tools for fighting terrorism in his remarks to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
He also described four specific cases where the FBI used data obtained by the NSA programs to thwart terror attacks, including a bomb plot against the New York Stock Exchange and another against the city's subway system.
NSA hearing: Hot mic catches NSA boss praising FBI chiefs for supportive testimony on surveillance programs
I totally agree with Snowden’s dad. If we have to give up our liberty to the state the terrorists have won. If we stop being the land of the free and home of the brave because we fear a bunch of guys might set off an attack at some future date, what makes us special anymore? We’re just another country.
We lived under the very real threat of total nuclear alienation during the Cold War, and though there were significant abuses, the Constitution remained more or less intact. But now we are supposed to cower and live like children because of the chance that a terrorist strike, which even at the most horrific level is likely to be limited, and certainly not worth abandoning living like human beings with dignity over, will disrupt the economy? America doesn’t die with a terrorist act. It dies when it stops standing for liberty and the dignity of the average citizen. Land of the free. Home of the brave.
A nation continues to wait for final word on the Supreme Court's Big Four cases this term — voting rights, affirmative action, DOMA, and Proposition 8 — but the justices' closest decision arrived first on Monday, in a 5-4 ruling on Salinas v. Texas in which the conservative members of the Court and Anthony Kennedy determined that if you remain silent before police read your Miranda rights, that silence can and will be held against you. Here's what that means.
Basically, if you're ever in any trouble with police (no, we don't condone breaking laws) and want to keep your mouth shut, you will need to announce that you're invoking your Fifth Amendment right instead of, you know, just keeping your mouth shut. "Petitioner's Fifth Amendment claim fails because he did not expressly invoke the privilege against self-incrimination in response to the officer's question," reads the opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, which Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts backed. Justices Thomas and Scalia had a concurring opinion while the remaining four Supremes dissented.
It all seems ridiculously terrifying, this idea that in order to claim your Fifth Amendment, you now need to know how to call the on-the-fly legal equivalent of "safesies." Your right to remain silent just got more complicated, and it will require potential criminals to be more informed about their protections and the linguistic details on how to invoke them. "But does it really mean that the suspect must use the exact words 'Fifth Amendment'? How can an individual who is not a lawyer know that these particular words are legally magic?" Breyer wrote.