The danger of hyperventilation among liberals and some conservative libertarians is a more clear and present danger than the possibility of unconstitutional searches of telephone numbers and other data points by the U.S. government.
We live in an age of terrorism concocted by loose-knit networks of fanatics that communicate with cellphones and computers. The National Security Agency can access the numbers and Internet use to do what? Connect the dots of information of foreign nationals on a limited basis, and only after approval from a federal judge.
As the heads of the Senate and House intelligence committees told the press on Sunday, the data-mining programs are supervised and the leaker of the stories about the program should be prosecuted.
We agree with the president and the leadership of the intelligence committees — a Democrat, Sen. Diane Feinstein, of California, and a Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers, of Michigan — that the programs should continue under supervision of the courts. The threat of international terrorism is a reasonable cause for this operation.
The leaker, Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA, appears to have been motivated by bizarre theories about the Internet. We look forward to the time when he can explain himself to a jury of his peers. The jury’s decision will no doubt be made easier by his highly public confession.