It wasn't only Obamacare supporters that wanted people to talk to their families about political issues over Thanksgiving. The National Security Agency did, too, even going so far as to offer its employees some tips on how to defend the beleaguered secret agency. Which cements the public perception that it is nefarious.
The document obtained by FireDogLake's Kevin Gosztola is actually a pretty poor example of talking points. It includes five main subject areas, each of which itself has a series of sub-bullets. For anyone who has been paying close attention to the debate over the NSA, the arguments are nothing new — they obey the law, they have robust oversight, they prevent terror attacks, they protect freedom . But the NSA has frequently complained that its defenses aren't reaching the public, an argument belied by evidence that the media has a pro-grovernment bias. So, the talking points.
A sample conversation might go something like this. A grandmother, pouring gravy on her potatoes, says, "So, Jimmy, how's work going?" And Jimmy responds: "Well, the NSA's mission is of great value to the nation, Grandma, because we provide timely, actionable intelligence to political and military customers who use that information in a range of applications … " at which point Grandma dies of old age.
It's too late for Thanksgiving, but the NSA talking points are included below. We strongly recommend pulling out the double-sided sheet of paper while opening Christmas presents or enjoying Hannukah with your family. Perhaps you might use them to woo a midnight kiss on New Year's Eve. Though this does seem unnecessarily clunky. The NSA has everyone's cell phone number. Next time, just send us 40 or 50 texts.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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