Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Former NSA Director: ‘An attack is going to come’

June 5th, 2014
02:35 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The former director of the U.S.’s National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, warned Thursday that the NSA, mired in controversy over alleged overreach, will inevitably come under another kind of negative scrutiny when the next terrorist attack comes.

“I do think an attack is going to come and hit us or Europe,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview. “And then people are going to swing this right around.”

“What is it that NSA actually does? Let’s get those facts on the table.”

“Put it on the table, look at it, and say is that a reasonable way to do it? And if not, what would you suggest? What would others suggest? Nobody’s been able to come up with a better fix.”

Thursday marks one year since the first revelations from leaker Edward Snowden were revealed. General Alexander led the spying organization until earlier this year, and has since founded a cybersecurity company, Ironnet.

“We do need a debate: Where should the line be on civil liberties, privacy, security? And I don't think there's a line; there's a balance. How do we do both?”

Amanpour asked Alexander, “Do you get that the trust has been broken?”

“Yes,” he said. “To be completely candid on this, part of it is we haven't defended ourselves well publicly. You know, we got way behind in the media on this in part because we were concerned that we'd reveal things that would hurt our nation.”

“As a consequence, the media took off with a lot of facts or information that wasn't factually correct.”

Whether it is just a public relations problem, as Alexander says, or whether there are genuine issues with the way the NSA gathers information has been the subject of much global debate.

Germany’s chief federal prosecutor announced on Wednesday that he had opened a criminal investigation into NSA spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Alexander said he hoped the probe would not harm the countries’ intelligence relationship, which since Snowden’s revelations has already been quite tumultuous.

“I think that cooperation is absolutely vital, especially for Germany, because the United States provides so much intelligence, especially on the terrorism front, to protect Germany and our other European allies.”

Does the U.S. not, Amanpour asked, also get important intelligence from Europe?

“It goes both ways; but I think on the terrorism front, I think that’s where they really look to the United States for help.”

“I think what we have to do is reset what’s going on in all this area.”

But lest someone think that means doing away with the NSA’s controversial programs, Alexander gave a full-throated endorsement of his former agency’s activities.

“I'm not talking about taking the programs off the table. I think what we've done a terrible job in, is explaining what those programs do.”

“It's legal, it's what they're authorized, and it's effective.”

“There are a series of programs; each of those help us build the picture. And if you start taking some of those off the table, the question is, when does it become too difficult for the analysts to conclude what happened? That's how 9/11 occurred.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • U.S. Politics
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. ashok

    The NSA makes it a little less likely that an act of terrorism will succeed. That ought to be justification enough for all that it does.

    June 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • zonker

      Pre-emptively nuking the East Coast would also prevent a lot of terrorism. Is that also "justification enough"?

      June 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
      • Mike B

        If you mean the Middle East, then I'm with you.

        June 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • Kate

      "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." – Benjamin Franklin

      June 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Reply
      • elvinmerij

        Benjamin Franklin did not have nuclear bombs or airliners flying into buildings to contend with. I suspect that if he had, he might have nervously cleared his throat and said: ".... um, on second thought ...."

        June 6, 2014 at 1:30 am |
      • Ben K

        Totally agree with Kate and disagree with elvinmerij. Nuclear bombs and airliners do not change the basic premise of what Ben Franklin was saying. Franklin's time had the threat of the most powerful nation on the planet (England) crushing the fledgling USA. The principles still applied then as they do now. There are no second thoughts on this one.

        June 6, 2014 at 5:38 am |
      • Ron

        On the other hand to many people view any increase in security is a decrease in liberty which is not true. I cant name one right I lost after 9/11. Can you?

        June 29, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
      • Zach

        Ben Franklin also owned slaves.

        July 3, 2014 at 9:58 am |
    • Justin Credible

      You know, if they nuked every other country except North America, you'd be fairly safe from external terrorists.
      Is that a suitable solution also?

      June 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
      • Valaria

        So you think North America is a country ? go get some books and study some more please.

        June 5, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
      • gapeterson1958

        North America is a continent not a country....

        June 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
    • Jack

      Alexander is right: it's a question of balance between the public's safety and its privacy. Since terrorists have the means and the will to kill indiscriminately, this search for balance will sway back and forth like a pendulum, powered by public opinion and based on current events.

      June 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Reply
      • Foggy World

        Alexander's sense of balance is as off as his moral compass. If you look at it as a seesaw, personal privacy is sunk to the ground while he and his great ideas scoop up every single part of American citizens lives. Yes, there will be future a attacks: there already have been and yet the NSA with all of that data to be held in perpetuity in Utah hasn't stopped a thing.

        This is a huge country with tremendous open access to dangerous things – not many of which are even monitored. I don't want to list them here because I don't want to help sick people but Alexander is in a dream world of a power trip and ought to be ashamed and stay away from public appearances. He just makes it all worse.

        June 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • brett

        So does the US federal government. They make middle eastern "terrorists" look like pathetic amateuers. Who is going to protect the world from the US government?

        June 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
    • pr

      Did bugging Angela's Merkel phone help in any manner whatsoever?

      June 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Reply
      • SnakePlissken

        Yes, it helped. Hew it helped, that's another question.

        June 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • JP

      People whine about the NSA and other government agencies now but they've been doing this for years. The general public doesn't understand what the military has to do during war and they don't understand what it takes to try to prevent attacks on Americans. Take your faux outrage somewhere else.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Reply
      • aroth

        Take you faux war somewhere else. Maybe try Faux News.

        June 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
      • xrelic

        They have not prevented anything so far all they have done is spy on the american people

        June 9, 2014 at 10:42 am |
    • aroth

      No. Just no. You do not violate people's rights because you're scared of what might happen, some day in the future. The NSA can get a warrant first, on a case-by-case basis.

      Besides, can you name one act of terrorism that was stopped as a result of the NSA's illegal spying? Didn't think so. And a fat lot of good they did at stopping the terrorist attack on Boston. Or any of the recent mass-shootings.

      I don't think you're gaining much safety in exchange for all those rights that you are so willing to let the NSA strip away from everyone. Though even if you were; safety is not a legitimate reason for subverting due process under the law.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Reply
      • Sean

        You are asking to name a terrorist attack that was prevented by the NSA? Think about that statement. If this terrorist attack was prevented, it never happened, and would not have a name or could be named. It didn't exist because it was PREVENTED by the NSA. Why not ask to name a planet that has yet to be discovered?

        June 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
      • aroth

        @Sean – Fair enough. Insert the word "plotted" in between "one" and "act of terrorism".

        The question, however, is entirely valid. If an attack was thwarted by the NSA, you can bet you'd have heard about it. Not as an attack, but as a failed plot.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:04 am |
      • Anton

        @Aroth and @sean

        It would make no sense for the Authorities to talk about the "failed" plots as to do so would mean the bad guys would find out about their "failed" plots and they would try to do better next time. It would be much better for all information about the "failed" plot to disappear into a "black hole" – would keep the bad guys guessing as to what happened.

        Such an approach requires utmost dedication and our trust on part of those people involved in stopping this bad guys. Problem is Governments and Authorities at any level can be subject to outside influence – political, money, lobbyists etc.

        June 8, 2014 at 4:49 am |
      • Joyto

        No, you would not hear what plots were thwarted, that would put at risk some methods of information gathering, but YES many plots have been stopped before someone or someplace was hurt.

        June 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • rjblock

      Agree with you. I am 100% behind the NSA and what it does to keep us safe. The shrill critics will bemoan their opinions when and if an attack happens because the NSA's hands were tied. And they will say the NSA did not do enough.

      My hat is off to the folks at the NSA.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
      • octopus

        yeah and Keith Alexander will do everything to prove you right.

        June 6, 2014 at 2:41 am |
      • Jerry Lester

        The only thing the NSA does well is industrial espionage on other nations. It's all public knowledge at this point, including the fact that no terrorist plots were disrputed through their illegal surveillance activities. No troll will change the facts.

        June 9, 2014 at 10:11 am |
    • octopus

      exactly brother!

      if i fart, it also makes it "a little less likely that an act of terrorism will succeed", because one or more terrorists might choke to death. hope you'll be around as well!

      June 6, 2014 at 2:34 am | Reply
    • Mike

      I agree with Ashok, the NSA has succeeded in preventing terrorist attacks on US soil and this post is a wonderful insight into the justification of NSA's existence and the way they conduct their business. I would only add this; there is nothing wrong in tapping any Head of government's phone, be it our Allies, the only thing wrong is to give it so much media attention and undermine our own agencies that defend us.

      June 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Jimbo

      "The NSA makes it a little less likely that an act of terrorism will succeed. That ought to be justification enough for all that it does."

      This is a ridiculous statement. You need to weigh the potential benefits (lives saved) against the cost of programs. If the objective is to save lives, money is much better allocated on things like improving highway safety. The endless billions spent by the NSA has a very poor benefit/cost ratio.

      June 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      That's why it is so important to monitor conversations of the Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Dillma Rouseff President of Brazil. They are definitely involved with terrorism and must be stopped!

      June 9, 2014 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • Jerry Lester

      How do you know it makes any difference? They never stopped a terrorist attack!

      June 9, 2014 at 10:07 am | Reply
      • Rick

        That was sarcasm. If they focused on terrorism instead of whatever agenda they had "because they can" maybe they would get something done. All they are now is an international national embarrassment.

        June 9, 2014 at 10:34 am |
    • brett

      What is your proof of this?

      June 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  2. suasageon

    Given US foreign policy- I'd have to agree that an attack on the US will occur. Its inevitable. The US has the most contradictory, hypocritical and unprincipled foreign policy of any country on earth. It sows the seeds of its own woes.

    June 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • Batman

      And yet, you use their Internet for your daily fun...hmmm

      June 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
      • gspec

        That's the best you could do? Use the internet as an example?

        When your business profits from fear, of course you'll do what you can to generate as much as possible.

        Keep that in mind when you defend your laughable country and its rogue spy agency.

        June 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
      • brunomf77

        Argumentum ad hominem

        June 5, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
      • superman

        what a typically jingoistic american response. as if using their internet justifies their behavior. stick your head back in the sand where it belongs.

        June 5, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
      • Carl Hansen

        What a looser, it's not Americas internet, the Internet is a system of networks around the world. No country owns the Internet. As for the World Wide Web (websites) that you are using here, that was invented in the UK.

        June 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
    • Jack

      Whatever our foreign policy faults, how exactly does that justify killing 3000 civilians?

      June 5, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
      • Carl Hansen

        Oh Jack, the US has been a bad cop pretending to be good cop spreading peace and democracy around world. Americans only know there whitewashed history. (They don't know the truth).
        As an example, in 1975 America supported, assisted and gave US arms for Indonesia to invade Timor, the soldiers rounded up 1000's of people and executed them in cold blood, including 6 Australia journalists. This invasion resulted in 180,000 Timor people killed.

        June 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
      • Joe

        The next attack will come from hoko pokus harim or whatever it is. That justifies invading nigeria and stealing their oil.

        June 5, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
    • HorseMan

      Amen..! Couldn't have said it better.

      June 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  3. me

    And that's why they spied on Angela Merkel, on politicians , on the UN, and on every major company on this earth ...

    June 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  4. jamesdmacdonald

    Whether NSA is dismantled or NSA runs hog-wild, either way another act of terrorism is coming.

    Speaking of not "factually correct," the statement that "That's how 9/11 occurred" is not factually correct. The FBI had warnings - which they ignored. FBI agents asked for permission to investigate–which was denied. CIA had pertinent information–which they didn't share. Two of the 9/11 hijackers shared rooms with an FBI informant. It wasn't lack of information, it wasn't lack of access, it wasn't lack of anything that NSA has on their wish-list that was "how 9/11 occurred." It was too much information, it was not seeing the forest for the trees, it was interservice rivalry, it was a president who didn't care when warned "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US."

    Adding more hay to the haystack isn't going to help anyone find the needle.

    The damage that NSA does to us as a free society every day is greater than the damage that a hundred 9/11s could do. General Keith Alexander belongs in jail, not on the talk-show circuit.

    June 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • Old Hippie

      So Very True!

      June 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • zonker

      This.

      June 5, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • HRABX

      like

      June 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Reply
      • Foggy World

        love.

        June 8, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • Awabnavi

      If 9/11 happened in spite of all the intelligence available then we can arrive at ONLY ONE CONCLUSION – it was ALLOWED to happen or it was ENCOURAGED to happen or it was PLANNED TO HAPPEN. The last is the most PLAUSIBLE one.

      June 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  5. Julian Assange

    It is ONLY natural that, from time to time, America and its GANG of the willing are hot HARD, it gives the people of this world a sense that it may take time but JUSTICE is UNAVOIDABLE!

    June 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  6. Dicky30

    " because the United States provides so much intelligence, especially on the terrorism front, to protect Germany and our other European allies."

    That is exactly the problem. You deny sovereign states to be sovereign states. In the meanwhile you play God, but you obviously, you have too much fear to be God or even to be a god. So let the world be.

    June 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  7. PDXSerric

    This is inane. To insist that a ‘terrorist attack is going to come… eventually’ is like saying ‘if you go into the water you’ll get wet’. Terrorists with an agenda to cause mass panic and destruction in order to fulfil their theocratic principles will always attack, be it a small, ambiguous attack or another 9/11. For the NSA to use this fact as a tool to frighten the US and other countries into whatever action it is the NSA itself desires is, in a word, terrorism.

    Terrorism is not defined by how many suicide bombings or plane crashes there are, but those who would use fear and terror to control others. The US excels at this, actually. Politicians use it ever 4 years or so shape the direction of any given election through fear tactics and terror.

    June 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  8. Daniel

    Well, if that is the case, we will hunt down all moslims in Europe. Burn their homes etc.

    June 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Awabnavi

      AH! Not satisfied with exterminating the NATIVES of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, etc.? Your BLOOD LUST not yet abated?

      June 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  9. dotmafia

    Yes, let's get those facts about the NSA on the table Mr. Alexander.

    The US has been engaged in massive economic espionage, criminal blackmail and brinksmanship, criminal insider trading and industrial-scale counterfeiting for a very long time. Working for Wall Street is the prime job of the CIA and NSA. Protecting "national security" is not what Americans think it means in the sense which has been routinely espoused by their government. Protecting it offensively, not just defensively. Alexander and his ilk use the cover of "terrorism" and instilling fear in the public so they can continue to pull off these illegal crimes for Wall Street and the government. They are laughing at all of you - laughing. There is an entirely covert system of illegal financing on a truly breathtaking scale being carried out by these gangster agencies, running in the hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars - and the NSA is the leading vanguard of this criminal enterprise.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  10. Richard

    And aliens will come to Earth, there will be a massive earthquake in California. Obviously there will be another massive attack by IIslam...that is a no-brainer. Next week? Next month? Next year? ten years? With Snowden's help maybe even sooner!!

    June 5, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • superman

      i didn't know the special ed class let their kids use the internet. i see you passed ignorantly bigoted 101. did you finish reading mein kampf yet?

      June 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  11. DocJohnnie

    Let's hope he was not paid to make that earth-shattering comment. It's like saying "there will be another gun attack in the US". Stating the bleedin' obvious.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • Foggy World

      It seems he's got visions of a post military very highly paid career and he alas may get it if fools are willing to pay him for speeches, interviews, books and seats on boards. Anyone with any sensitivity at all in his position would quietly fade away.

      June 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  12. Chris

    I'm willing to sacrifice myself as one of 5,000 people killed every 10 years in a terrorist attack to preserve our liberties, just like the founding fathers of this country.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  13. Keith B. Rosenberg

    He is correct that there will be another terror attack in the US or Europe – given enough time.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  14. Awabnavi

    The West should realize this formula – CREATION OF ISRAEL = CREATION OF TERRORISM. They should realize this and try to RECTIFY the situation.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  15. superman

    american foreign policy will continue to breed terrorism. reign it in, and half the problems that exist today will dissipate. sadly, this isn't likely to happen, as the american people are too used to their lifestyles and blissfully ignorant of the cost to the rest of the world that their ways incur. a societal change must occur here in the U.S. before it's foreign policy can be corrected.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  16. Awabnavi

    If 9/11 happened in spite of all the intelligence available then we can arrive at ONLY ONE CONCLUSION – it was ALLOWED to happen or it was ENCOURAGED to happen or it was PLANNED TO HAPPEN. The last is the most PLAUSIBLE one.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  17. Pluasible Denial

    Preventing a terrorist attack is like preventing rain. You know it's coming.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  18. me

    Yeah right and US will blame Iran, so they have an excuse (fake flag) to attack that country

    June 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • Awabnavi

      Iran should get it nukes ready quickly. NO?

      June 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  19. chedar888

    Any books this guy is going to sell?

    June 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  20. hothead007

    GENERAL ITS TIME STILL YOU STOP LYING LIKE THE GREAT SATAN/DEVIL GEORGE W BUSH DID TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE & THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT AMERICANS & MILLIONS OF OTHERS LIVES WERE LOST, SO BETTER YOU GET LOST, VANISH, KAPUT TO THE NEXT WORLD

    June 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  21. jeffreyw75

    This NSA guy eats, drinks, sleeps, and profits off of fear.

    June 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  22. ann

    Welcome to

    GROOMING LOAN AGENCY Company (A Personalized Service for All Your Financial Needs) We, Liberal Investment Company Providers offers loan at a very low interest rate of 2%, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Educational Loan, Home Loan, and Loan for any reason and urgent needs!. with a maximum duration of 30 years. Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt?
    Do you need to set up a business?
    Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan.
    Our loan ranges from $5,000-USD (Five Thousand US dollars) to $50, 000,000.00.(Fifty Million US dollars).
    We also lend in USA DOLLARS EURO and POUNDS !
    Fill in this form and forward it to our email: GROOMINGLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM
    1. Your Full names:_______
    2. Contact address:_______
    3. Country Of Residence:______
    4. Loan Amount Required:________ 5. Duration:_____
    6. Gender:_____
    7. Occupation:________
    8. Monthly Income:_______
    9. Date Of Birth:________ 10.Telephone Number:________
    11. Purpose of loan:_________

    Yours In Service,
    Mr WILBURN
    GROOMINGLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM

    June 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  23. F. Noel McDaniel

    Mr. Alexander is right. That's exactly what various terrorist groups have publicly said thru multiple sources. If someone on this forum has served in the same position as Mr. Alexander, then a legitimate debate can occur. Otherwise, the knowledge base I have comes from the public domain and I make no claim to have unclassified information. However, I am compelled to recognize an open threat and have no doubt that plans are being laid out to carry out those threats. Osama bin Laden (sp) warned for years. The assumption that terrorist groups are stupid, backwards, and not capable is foolish. Lessons learned. Assume nothing ... take nothing for granted ... and be diligent and proactive to meet future threats. It's a very small planet and there are no iron bubbles available to huddle into ... and a trip to Mars is not a safe assumption. We're all trying to survive on this planet and not doing a very god job of it. My humble opinion only ... so don't attack me for my right to speak.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  24. Steve Nicoletti

    I can guarantee that a major storm will come eventually but I'm not willing to sign my life over because of it.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • worldlypatriotusaveteran

      What makes you think you've signed your life over? Are you basing your conclusion on your personal ignorance of what the NSA actually does? Are believing everything you read, paranoia, and overreaction your guiding principles?

      June 9, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  25. Anthony Kovic

    The US government, it's leaders and agencies, has a long history of abusive intervention into the private affairs of others, everything from J Edgar Hoover spying on fellow Americans, Nixon's Watergate, McCarthy's hunt for communists, FBI infiltration of "dangerous" people and organizations like troublemaker Martin Luther King, gay rights activists, the women's movement and of course "threats" like Green Peace and the anti-war movement. And in the digital age the government systematically scans every single email, communication, phone call, SMS - not only of every single American, but Snowden revealed of enemies and friends, right down to Angela Merkells' s cell phone - as if she was the new Hitler.

    And here we have this NSA guy talking as if total government "monitoring" of everybody is quite normal, just a question of "balance" and getting it right.

    June 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  26. F. Noel McDaniel

    Amazing internet. As complaints are lodged from everyone able to speak, type, or yell, every TV station, radio, website, forum and form of public notification consists of individuals, companies, agencies, groups declaring their most private matters for airing ... then ... complain again how privacy is lost. Anyone ever hear of a 'party-line phone': That was tame compared to brag and boast and show the most. Duh? Who cares what brand of shorts anyone wears: They'll just get in a bunch about privacy where there is none ... never has been. Stinkin' thinkin' that anyone's privacy ever existed.

    June 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  27. nocrapspoken

    Carpe Data

    June 5, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  28. F. Noel McDaniel

    Instead of chatting on the internet ... leaning over the backyard fence still has its attraction. It's not high tech, but human beings are so creative. God bless and enjoy your sought-after privacy. Someone will always find a way to ... go tell.

    Thanks CNN for all the articles that keep us talking and sharing with one another.

    June 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  29. GrinOlsson

    It's time that the United States wised up to Muslims who don't recognize Christian or secular oaths as valid and owe their allegiance to the conceptual nation of Islam but banning the whole lot from the United States – as well as visas, residency, and citizenship – then we have no terrorist problem at all.

    June 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Reply
    • rfkolbe

      Got any more details about your allegations? Or are you just making things up?

      June 6, 2014 at 12:54 am | Reply
  30. rfkolbe

    I guess I would like to know what security company the general is working for now. I think many who have served in these roles will become very wealthy telling us all how afraid we should be.

    June 6, 2014 at 12:53 am | Reply
    • Foggy World

      They have created one huge business for themselves and it's really up to us to turn our backs on all of them as they pursue the huge dollars they have come to expect when they leave government.

      June 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  31. Crosshairball

    Well Keith Alexander ought to know if the powers that be are going to hit us again, I mean he just got back from the Bilderberg meeting where all these decisions are made.

    June 6, 2014 at 1:08 am | Reply
  32. Maciej

    Mr Alexander is pure manipulator, this interview is only about making better PR for NSA.

    June 6, 2014 at 3:13 am | Reply
  33. wooddragon

    The so called war on terror is a war on us, the common people. The self-proclaimed elites call the masses of the people that have no idea what is really going on The Dead. Miltary and police personel they call Our Dogs. They even hang a dog tag around the necks, but people cannot decipher it. For more on this topic watch: Occult mockery of military and police personel. To be seen on youtube.

    June 6, 2014 at 3:54 am | Reply
  34. Jerry J.

    You don't spy on chancellor Angela Merkel in order to prevent terrorism... !!
    There is no logic in that. And for sure she is not hiding Edward Snowden in her closet.

    June 6, 2014 at 5:06 am | Reply
  35. OmenEstNomen

    Great, now we now that Angela Merkel lied against her own voters, because she was very well aware of the NSA spying program. Furthermore, whathever the NSA is doing has not stopped that even in Boston no? And all of this FUD is essentially to hide that the greatest nation of all is broke, overloaded with debt, that they are now trying to export. Even ship containers get in and out of the US without any form of so called scanning. Off course you don't need a brain, there's an app for that. Empirical stupidy, as the fallen Roman empire.

    June 6, 2014 at 6:55 am | Reply
  36. Herman Voss

    An attack will indeed come. And it might come exactly when the NSA needs it.

    And how exactly is listening to Merkel's phone (and activating her phone camera) legal and effective ?

    June 6, 2014 at 8:12 am | Reply
  37. jmh

    This guy is a good politician - said a bunch of serious sounding words but actually provided no information on what he claimed should be the discussion.

    Yes, I'm sure at some point something else will happen. Without a doubt some will make a big ado about it and the federal government will use that event to grab more power in the name of protecting people from ever suffering such an event again - which it cannot do if we are to be a free society. We cannot even do this as heavily controlled society.

    Increasing the intrusions into our private lives and movements isn't the solution and we have not become safer as a society from all the new powers claimed by the federal government and the new agencies since 2001.

    June 6, 2014 at 8:29 am | Reply
  38. jack

    Blah Blah we are right We are the government.... U just don't know th whole truth......

    We are the government here to help you... Not just to create jobs and importance to the government class and especially the security establishments..... :-)

    June 6, 2014 at 8:59 am | Reply
  39. Zinc

    The NSA is trying to use essentially the same technology Google uses for targeted ads to characterize terrorists. Maybe your experience of Google ad targeting has been better than mine. Throwing data at the problem is a crude and flawed approach, and actually weakens our security by increasing the likelihood of false positives and clutters the "haystack" with millions of irrelevant records of completely innocent Americans.  That the NSA thinks this approach is both appropriate and effective is testament to their incompetence in the matter.  They were chewed out for not figuring out 9/11 in advance and the excuse they came up with is that they didn't have enough data.  Yes there will be future attacks.  And when they come, the excuse of not having enough data just won't wash– it's a bogus one in any case.  The NSA needs to stop worrying about how to CYA for the next incident and figure out what is actually effective at preventing it.  Here's a clue, mass data collection and data mining algorithms isn't it.   The world ain't Star Trek, technology can't just do it all like magic.  Sometimes it takes hard working gumshoes.  Computers will never eliminate that.  If they spent half as much of the time and money they spend on astroturfing on the job they are supposed to be doing, they might just be able to prevent the next attack.  So far their success rate in that regard has not been very good.  But what do they care, really, they'll be able to blame Snowden for their next failure.

    June 6, 2014 at 11:04 am | Reply
  40. Mathew

    With the 54 billion spend on intelligence, you could buy all terrorists. Or wipe out cancer, poverty.

    June 6, 2014 at 11:13 am | Reply
  41. jack

    Blah Blah blah... WE know better what is good for U. Gives more money so we can create government jobs to keep you safe.... We need more power, more $, more resources to watch you, spy on you, use and abuse u. Ant all the other people

    We create lots of government jobs and work to keep them busy, the security establishment is well entrenched, and provides lots of data to keep you in your place... We have the goods on you... So do what we tell you or else.... Cause we know what is best for you!

    Trust me, i am from the government (Class) / security establishment!

    June 6, 2014 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • AJ

      Ever been at the wrath of the NSA when you are a legit business owner/legit person? If you so happen to find out they are spying on you, they scare you to death. If you avoid getting scared to death, you already lost everything and hang by a thread to retain whats left of your broken, once prominent life. Opinions vary, facts confirm. Thankfully, silk is stronger than steel!

      June 9, 2014 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • AJ

      Quote "Trust me, i am from the government (Class) / security establishment!"

      Uugghh~! You'll know me then.....right???

      June 9, 2014 at 9:21 am | Reply
  42. figures

    keith sounds like the kind of guy that boards up his house and plants spy cams all over the neighborhood.

    June 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  43. Gareth

    General Keith Alexander predicts another attack will come.
    Gee well, I predict it may rain at some point in the future, that the seasons may change, and that the tides may turn.
    If predicting inevitability is a justification for allowing uncontrolled, unwarranted, and unlimited preditation into every one of our private affairs, then we deserve the dystopian future we are running headlong into.

    June 7, 2014 at 1:54 am | Reply
  44. David Crosby

    With any luck they will attack the NSA..

    June 7, 2014 at 1:57 am | Reply
  45. Tom C

    Terrorism is defined as using fear to affect policy change.

    Therefore, Keith Alexander is a terrorist.

    June 7, 2014 at 11:20 am | Reply
  46. divejoy

    can you believe in justifying "by the people and for the people" for "by me and for me" as legitimate makes me cringe.

    June 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • Foggy World

      And that's the whole point.

      June 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  47. Iron Ghost

    The NSA has greatly overreached their original charter, there job is to secure our government's communications, and watch foreign enemy governments communications, not to spy on US citizens talking amongst themselves stateside. That's the job of the FBI with a proper warrant, the CIA should be watching americans communicating with foreign nationals and requesting the assistance of the FBI and the NSA were appropriate.

    June 8, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
  48. anonymous

    there will also be another school shooting

    June 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  49. Foggy World

    One thing we could all do is let the networks know that if Messrs. Clapper or Alexander appear on their networks we will turn off those programs because we consider these gentlemen to be persona non grata in the "privacy" of our homes.

    June 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  50. Jerry Lester

    And way more people will die for sure in car accidents and alcoohol ause. Start fixing those first.

    June 9, 2014 at 6:30 am | Reply
    • AJ

      Ever been at the wrath of the NSA when you are a legit business owner/legit person? If you so happen to find out they are spying on you, they scare you to death. If you avoid getting scared to death, you already lost everything and hang by a thread to retain whats left of your broken, once prominent life. Opinions vary, facts confirm. Thankfully, silk is stronger than steel!

      June 9, 2014 at 8:51 am | Reply
  51. Randi

    No plane hit the Pentagon and fire did not bring down WTC7. What terrorist attack?

    June 9, 2014 at 9:24 am | Reply
  52. Jerry Lester

    US agencies had all the info to stop 9/11. The answer is not more info, but more targeted and better integrated info.

    June 9, 2014 at 10:13 am | Reply
  53. Robert

    You have to ask yourself about 9/11. How two steel buildings evaporated into cloud of dusts? Simple answer, nuclear bomb demolition. Research it please...

    June 9, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply
  54. gahh

    How are they going to get here, unless we provide the transportation, with free peanuts, and meals? It would be just like this country to do that. Anything for money.

    June 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  55. You Got It

    The former director of the U.S.’s National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, warned Thursday that the NSA, mired in controversy over alleged overreach, will inevitably come under another kind of negative scrutiny when the next terrorist attack comes.

    This is just a way of saying "we're going to have to commit a false flag attack in order to swing the public opinion back around to our side of non-stop monitoring and information control.
    Hey George, it's 1984 in 2014!!!!

    June 18, 2014 at 10:14 am | Reply
  56. brett

    Evil sick twisted man. People are going to kill other people. Sometime in the future. So give the NSA all the money and power it craves so we can blame centuries of human behavior on obscure boogeymen and claim to be able to save you from them.

    June 27, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  57. Bubba

    Here are my predictions:
    1) An attack will come.
    2) Illegal aliens will cross the border into the US and hang out in front of a Home Depot.
    3) Republicans will find new ways to cheat on taxes while claiming to be patriotic.
    4) My dog will snore when she sleeps this weekend.
    The only difference between my predictions, and the predictions of the lackies suckling the FOX teat is; my predictions are not driven by fear of brown people.

    July 3, 2014 at 1:00 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.