Opinion

Hot mic: NSA boss offers FBI chief a beer after supportive testimony

A hot mic picked up the National Security Agency director appearing to suggest he owed the FBI director a beer for supportive testimony offered by the bureau’s second-in-command at Tuesday’s congressional hearing on the NSA’s surveillance programs.

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The exchange took place at the close of a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence when NSA Director Keith Alexander turned to FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and showed his appreciation for his testimony, according to The Daily Mail.

“Thank you, Sean,” Alexander said. “Tell your boss I owe him another friggin’ beer.”

“Yeah?” replied Joyce.

“Yeah,” Alexander confirmed.

“Tell him to give it to me,” Joyce said.

During the three-hour hearing as the two men sat side-by-side at the witness table, Joyce repeatedly praised the program and stressed its importance as an “essential” tool in fighting the war on terror.

The Mail’s Hayley Peterson noted of the deputy director:

He also described four specific cases where the FBI used data obtained by the NSA programs to thwart terror attacks, including a bomb plot against the New York Stock Exchange and another against the city’s subway system.

“We are revealing in front of you today methods and techniques,” Joyce testified. “I have told you, the examples I gave you how important they have been. The first core al-Qaida plot to attack the United States post 9-11 we used one of these programs. Another plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange we used these programs.”

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