Every day brings a new NSA scandal, and sometimes more than one. Officials have met them with a series of denials, bizarre defenses, and re-denials when those defenses don’t work.
But reform? Not so much. The White House has given some lip-service to the idea of some reform, but once again in very tentative terms, and with all the appearance that, as with past efforts, promises of a little transparency in the hopes of glossing over the outrage, coupled with what would probably be little to no material change to the programs themselves.
For the White House, the buzz word right now is “review.” There are any number of private reviews of possible reforms said to be ongoing, but with officials apparently not able to even agree on how much of the program they’ll admit to, the idea that they’re willing to rein in the worst of it seems doubtful, to say the least.
The NSA’s leader Keith Alexander is also suggesting there might be some “scaling back,” though that comment came intersperced in a series of denials about various recent scandals, and since he’s never admitted to doing much of anything, it isn’t clear what he’d scale back.