An updated version of the National Security Agency’s official mission statement contains a glaring omission that says much about its values, or rather the lack thereof.
The NSA’s original mission statement listed four “core values,” including “honesty,” “respect for the law,” “integrity” and “transparency.”
According to The Intercept, the NSA published a new mission statement on Jan. 12 wherein its original values were replaced with “commitment to service, “respect for the law,” “integrity,” “transparency,” “respect for people” and “accountability.”
Notice anything missing? Apparently, “honesty” doesn’t matter to the NSA anymore. But that’s not all that’s gone, as noted by The Intercept:
“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 NSA has also removed its previous commitment to “ensuring the safety, security, and liberty of our fellow citizens” via transparency and honesty
Instead, the agency’s commitment to transparency now focuses on “fostering public understanding of NSA’s mission and to providing complete transparency to those who authorize and oversee NSA’s work on behalf of the American people.”
The phrase “behave honorably” has been changed to “communicating honestly and directly, acting ethically and fairly and carrying out our mission efficiently and effectively.”
And though “respect for people” and “accountability” were added as values, The Intercept noted that they’re “a reference to diversity within the NSA workforce, not a general commitment to members of the public.”
In response to questions from The Intercept, NSA spokesman Thomas Groves reportedly said, “It’s nothing more than a website update, that’s all it is.”
Agency spokeswoman Clarese Wilson echoed this sentiment in a statement to Mashable: “Our obligation has not wavered; the agency remains firmly committed to communicating honestly and directly, and acting ethically and fairly.”
While these statements may be reasonable enough, the NSA’s disturbing history of abusing its powers to spy on the American people call its sincerity into question.
“During the Obama years, the National Security Agency intentionally and routinely intercepted and reviewed communications of American citizens in violation of the Constitution and of court-ordered guidelines implemented pursuant to federal law,” Andrew C. McCarthy revealed in National Review last year.
And while it’s true former President Barack Obama is long gone now, we know for a near-fact now that the “deep state” infrastructure he set up during his time in office — and that he allegedly used to spy on President Donald Trump during the 2016 election — still remains active.
The question therefore is this: Does the “deep state” NSA’s penchant for lies and deception still remain as well?
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