PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ed Turzanski — a John Templeton Fellow, co-chairman of the Center For the Study of Terrorism, and professor at La Salle University —spoke with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT’s Jeff Bolton about the concerns that have arisen by Patriot Act.
He disagrees with the people like Jon Stewart that say that since the government knew about the people behind the Boston Marathon bombing and the Fort Hood shooting, among others, but were unable to prevent them that the meta data collection does not work.
“The problem isn’t that we didn’t connect the dots, the question was what did you do with the information after the dots were connected? Those are two separate things. You can’t blame the Patriot Act for a lack of action against the Tsarnaev brothers or Major Hasan. Those are different problems…What we’re talking about is connecting dots.”
Turzanski points out that people’s calls are not being listened to all of the time. What has been collected are the phone numbers that are dialed, the length of the call, call frequency, length, and other impersonal data. That is unless a warrant is obtained through a court that some believe does not have enough checks and balances.
“There’s some people who say, ‘ well, look you ought to have an adversarial process, so that somebody else pushes back to say ‘no, no, you shouldn’t allow this to happen. If we were to do that than we would never be able to move as quickly or as secretly as we need in order to catch bad guys.”
For Turzanski, it all comes full circle with the recent report showing that the TSA failed 95 percent of the security tests that they were put through.
“We put up with a great deal of cost and inconvenience to get on an airplane. You would hope that there would be the requisite competence to make sure that whatever you’ve told me the danger is, you are addressing it properly. If you’ve failed 95 percent of your screenings then you’re telling me this really isn’t a problem. That’s a competence problem that is part of the larger discussion around all of our security measures.”