Kerry: Some NSA surveillance reached 'too far'

Nov 02, 2013 by Deb Riechmann
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the "SelectUSA Investment Summit," Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Washington. Kerry urged business leaders from around the world to bring their business to, and invest in the United States. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Secretary of State John Kerry's remark that some National Security Agency surveillance "reached too far" was the first time a high-ranking Obama administration official acknowledged that U.S. snooping abroad might be seen as overzealous.

After launching into a vigorous defense of surveillance as an effective counterterror tool, Kerry acknowledged to a video-conference on open government in London that "in some cases, I acknowledge to you, as has the president, that some of these actions have reached too far, and we are going to make sure that does not happen in the future."

"There is no question that the president and I and others in government have actually learned of some things that had been happening, in many ways, on an automatic pilot because the technology is there," Kerry said, responding to a question about transparency in governments.

Kerry was responding to questions from European allies about reports in the past two weeks that the National Security Agency had collected data on tens of millions of Europe-based phone calls and had monitored the cell phones of 35 world leaders, including that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The State Department said Friday his remarks were in sync with what President Barack Obama has already said on the controversial spying practices. But Obama has said the administration was conducting a review of surveillance practices and said that if the practices went too far they would be halted.

Kerry first joked with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, whom he said should also answer the question about surveillance because otherwise, would it mean that Britain did not do its own surveillance abroad? The joke was a subtle jab at the U.S. position that allies spy on each other routinely.

Kerry said in the wake of 9/11, the United States and other countries realized they were dealing with a new brand of extremism where people were willing to blow themselves up, even if it meant civilians would be killed.

"There are countless examples of this," Kerry said, citing the Sept. 21 al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, which killed at least 67 people.

"So what if you were able to intercept that and stop it before it happens?" Kerry asked. "We have actually prevented airplanes from going down, buildings from being blown up and people from being assassinated because we've been able to learn ahead of time of the plans."

Asked if Kerry's comments were off-the-cuff or part of a formal administration response to irritated allies, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry was reiterating the same comments administration officials have been conveying all week. However, Obama has said that just because the technology exists to conduct certain kinds of , it doesn't mean the U.S. should use it.

"I think that we wouldn't be having a review if we didn't think we should look at these programs. That's exactly what we're doing," Psaki said. She said Kerry was conveying "what we all feel, which is that this warrants taking a close look at, evaluating our appropriate posture as it comes to heads of state, how we coordinate with our allies, addressing concerns expressed by our allies, working with them, taking into account their input as well and seeing if we can strengthen our cooperation moving forward."

In an interview on Monday with Fusion, Obama said intelligence capabilities have continued to develop and expand in recent years.

"That's why I'm initiating now a review to make sure that what they're able to do doesn't necessarily mean what they should be doing," Obama said.

"Internationally, there are less constraints on how our intelligence teams operate, but what I've said—and I said actually even before the Snowden leaks—is that it's important for us to make sure that, as technology develops and expands, and the capacity for intelligence-gathering becomes a lot greater that we make sure that we're doing things in the right way and that are reflective of our values," Obama said.

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User comments : 3

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kochevnik
1 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2013
Nice that a guy who happily participated in the Vietnam "Shoot anything that moves" policy understands what "too far" means
ForFreeMinds
1 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2013
In other words, since we've been exposed by Snowden, we'll take care of it, and continue doing what we have been, but we're going to say we will fix it, so go away. Just like Obama's Benghazi investigation that ensured those who are in the know, keep quiet or lose their jobs and pensions.
geral
1 / 5 (5) Nov 12, 2013
"too far"! Do you really think so, Mr. Kerry?

NSA surveillance leads to atrocities wherein the fbi/cia intend to drive the Target crazy:

Collapse:


http://lissakr11h...-sosbee/



I defended an E V I L nation, the united states of america!

See my reports that reveal the underlying corrupt culture which propels the usa's unjust & phony wars.

Also note the links below and in the final paragraph wherein the people of the world may recognize the threat to both their physical and psychological freedom at the direction of the fbi. My service to this corrupt nation is reflected in the first two links below; my awakening to the horrors that the fbi/cia/dod spread globally is in a sense my salvation and my curse.

http://www.sosbee...myf.html

http://www.sosbee...ook.html

http://la.indymed...lahp.jpg

Unworthy:

http://argentina....4527.php


The fbi/cia Turn Civil Society Into A Cesspool Of Sinister Assassins (alt links):

http://barcelona....ndex.php

http://www.newciv...0556.htm

http://neworleans...8642.php

Affidavit:

http://sosbeevfbi...007.html

Veteran's view of choke chain:

http://portland.i...10.shtml

Related, Police State, alt links:

http://neworleans...8647.php

http://www.newciv...0557.htm

http://barcelona....ndex.php

http://atlanta.in...ce-state


http://www.indyme...les/1501

War Ethic:

http://venezuela....22.shtml

Corrupt ROTC:

http://www.sosbee...for.html

COINTELPRO:

http://barbarahar...html?m=1


fbi uses conditioned response psychological technique against Targets:
From Harlingen, Texas

November 9, 2013

On November 8, 2013, the fbi increases automobile traffic assaults by operatives/thugs on me after my recent posts online; then, as I continue my posts at the public library the fbi enters into my locked car and turns on the lights. These crimes are usually followed by increased sleep deprivation, and true to custom the fbi applies extreme elf assaults on me on the night of November 8, 2013. I view the physical and psychological assaults as threats which are more the terrible because the fbi continues all other COINTEL actions against me that I have documented for twenty years (i.e. 24/7 physical and electronic blanket surveillance, home and car invasions, vandalism in my home and car, phone harassment, slander, etc.). The implied threat is this: stop posting or else. The assaults follow my posts that the fbi finds most disturbing. Finally, so that the reader may undestand the mind games incessantly played on the me (the Target) for non compliance, the fbi sends me notices that the extreme assaults will continue: the fbi changes the tv channel at the moment that the Target turns his back or picks up th tv remote control unit. This is the type of dirty work that the fbi/cia plan for anyone in the world who fails to obey.

See also: http://www.gangst...iki.com/

I defended an evil nation:

http://sosbeevfbi...activity

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