When NSA recruiters went to the University of Wisconsin earlier this week to pitch language students on working for the agency, they got more than they bargained for.
The informed students turned the question-and-answer session into a hearing. On trial were the NSA’s lies, their legality, and how they define “adversary”.
The students recorded audio of the exchange on an iPhone proving that the language-analyst NSA recruiters were left tongue-tied.
“I’m surprised that for language analysts you’re incredibly imprecise with your language,” grad student Madiha Tahir charged when they failed to define what constitutes an adversary.
“What you’re selling us is untrue” she added. “We also know that the NSA took down brochures and fact sheets after the Snowden revelations because those fact sheets had severe inaccuracies and untruths in them — so how are we supposed to believe what you’re saying?”
Another student directly challenged the NSA’s morality for using the “globe as their playground” and then partying at the office with co-workers. She then challenges them to become whistleblowers because the truth will ultimately prevail.
“Given the fact that we have been lied to as Americans, given the fact that fact sheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress…Is being a good liar a qualification to work for the NSA?” Tahir asks.
These young students forced the NSA recruiters to claim, in a seemingly desperate defense, that they were not actually there “representing the NSA as an agency.”
Clearly the people have questions that aren’t being addressed by their representatives, and a much larger debate is needed. However, it’d be much more productive if these kids get to question the NSA leadership instead of our blackmailed politicians.
Listen to the whole exchange below: