This week, we have had a chilling reminder of how real the al-Qaeda threat remains, when the government issued a worldwide terror alert that has closed U.S. embassies across the world. Reports indicate that a major terrorist attack may be imminent, citing increased “chatter” among senior al-Qaeda leaders.
Who monitors that “chatter”? The National Security Agency.
Yet the House of Representatives just nearly stripped the NSA of one of its most vital terrorist surveillance tools. The measure failed by just seven votes — thanks to a collapse in public support for the NSA’s activities.
That collapse is a direct result of the disintegration in public trust that has taken place on Obama’s watch. Polls show that, for the first time in Obama’s presidency, half of all Americans say they don’t believe he is “honest and trustworthy” — a 9-point drop in trust since May, and a 27-point drop since Obama took office. Moreover, a majority of Americans say the IRS scandal has caused them to doubt the “overall honesty and integrity” of the Obama administration.
That is disastrous for our national security. The NSA’s activities must, by their nature, remain secret — which means they require a basic bond of trust between the people and their government. The Obama administration has broken that bond of trust. Little wonder, then, that so many Americans simply don’t believe it when Obama officials insist that the NSA is not monitoring the content of their calls and e-mails.