NSA Chief: ‘I Can’t Read That Good’

by Eliana Johnson

Army general and NSA chief Keith Alexander on Sunday defended the agency’s surveillance programs, arguing both that they have worked to prevent terrorist attacks and that, under the programs, few if any violations of civil liberties have occurred.

In doing so, however, he read from a Senate Intelligence Committee report, noting, “As an Army officer, you may know, I can’t read that good, but I’m gonna try.”

The intellectual self-deprecation at a time when the agency is under fierce attack stood out as an awkward moment in the interview, throughout which Alexander vigorously defended the NSA and offered commentary on a range of national-security issues.

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