Everyone Is Happy About the Surveillance Debate

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Here is James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, talking about the disclosure of NSA surveillance programs by Edward Snowden:

I think it’s clear that some of the conversations this has generated, some of the debate, actually needed to happen.

And here is FISA judge Dennis Saylor, ordering the government to conduct a declassification review of court rulings related to the NSA’s phone records program:

The unauthorized disclosure in June 2013 of a Section 215 order, and government statements in response to that disclosure, have engendered considerable public interest and debate about Section 215. Publication of FISC opinions relating to this provision would contribute to an informed debate….Publication would also assure citizens of the integrity of this Court’s proceedings.

And, of course, here is President Obama shortly after the first Snowden disclosures:

I welcome this debate. And I think it’s healthy for our democracy.

It’s unanimous! Everyone thinks that Snowden’s disclosures have generated a useful and much needed debate. So when do we actually get to have this debate?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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