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General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), commander of the US Cyber Command and chief of the Central Security Service arrives to testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on cyberthreats during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2013.
National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander went behind closed doors today to give Senators a classified briefing on the scope of the security agency's domestic surveillance program. Yesterday, Alexander told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the program was responsible for thwarting "dozens of terrorist events" in recent years but didn't give specifics on how many, or what other programs helped avert the attacks.
Meanwhile, FBI director Robert Mueller said Thursday that the US is taking all necessary steps to prosecute the man who leaked the information, Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor fled his home in Hawaii for Hong Kong shortly before the news broke and allegedly carried with him four laptops full of state secrets. Yesterday, he accused the US of hacking hundreds of targets in China and Hong Kong.
What criminal charges might Snowden face? How is the NSA explaining the surveillance program? If the meeting is behind closed doors, how much will we know? Is the US concerned that Snowden will hand over secrets to China?
Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher, The Nation
Cedric Leighton, founder and president of Cedric Leighton Associates and the former Director for Training of the National Security Agency