Intelligence community has only itself to blame [Letter]

Again, we have the "blame the media" scenario ("The Snowden stigma," June 9). A former intelligence officer tries awfully hard to make this point: "Edward Snowden's leaks and their media coverage have unfairly maligned the intelligence industry." But blaming the media for reporting the unprofessional, unconstitutional and illegal behavior of the intelligence agencies sounds like sour grapes.

Possibly the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history was the illegal and brutal invasion of Iraq. The intelligence community was complicit in providing bogus information that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The CIA has a notorious history — overthrowing democratically-elected governments in Iran and Guatemala, for example, and operating the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. The unconstitutional behavior of the National Security Agency is well-documented.

Again, writer Matthew F. Ferraro fails in making his argument: "Congress passed the bill that allows it [meta data collection], the executive implemented it, and the judiciary approved it through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court." There is almost no congressional oversight of the intelligence community. The executive branch has always been involved with illegal activity. And the FISA court is a joke. There is no one present to argue against the intelligence community request.

It was laughable to read this statement: "I saw agencies whose work is lawful and essential to national security and (yes) to global peace." I am in favor of global peace, but I see no evidence of it in the countries where the intelligence community ran amok from Afghanistan to Yemen.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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