Matthew Feeney Talks Privatization and the NSA With Thom Hartmann


I spoke to Thom Hartmann yesterday about whether privatization is responsible for the NSA scandal and who should be in charge of our intelligence agencies.

Watch below:

Read more from Reason.com about the NSA here.

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  1. wow- this was a softball that should have been hit right back at Thom. feeney-step up your game…this guy is a joke

  2. Thom seems to be equating privatization and cronyism. Even the most hardened libertarians would argue that national defense is a responsibility of the federal government. Also, it does not matter who collects the data. The NSA, Congress and the President are still responsible for oversight and any FOIA request would still have to be granted by the government regardless of who collect the data. He also seems to think there would be more accountability if it were government workers. Is he high?? Government workers are least accountable people on Earth.

  3. I thought Matthew did an excellent job of interviewing Thom.

    Hartmann, as usual, spends the interview slaying strawmen, talking over his guest, and driving the discussion to obscure points that don’t even form an argument. The only show worse is David Pakman (sponsored by Greenfield State Bank).

  4. “Bring back the bureaucrats!” Uh yeah. And thank god the Gestapo, the NKVD and the Stasi weren’t employed by KKKORPORASHUNS.

  5. Hartmann apparently thinks that libertarians give a shit about outsourcing federal services to private contractors. That’s mostly an efficiency argument that has been made by conservatives, not libertarians. Of course, Hartmann apparently thinks we *are* conservatives, so whatevs…

    He also misunderstands how federal contractors work. Your average GS-10 paper shuffler is likely unionized and is definitely protected by civil-service rules. It’s very difficult to fire a federal employee below the policymaker level. If a contractor fucks up, they can be out the door in five minutes.

    Defense contractors undergo a great deal of scrutiny and typically work at government facilities, alongside and supervised by federal employees. The ones performing the contract work are usually not off in some separate office building, even if the corporate administrators are.

  6. Huh? I suppose I could file a FOIA request but it isn’t going to go anywhere. I’ m certainly not going to learn about anything the NSA is doing. And how does the fact that the leaker worked for a private company mean that it would all be OK if bureaucrats were doing it? Wasn’t he protesting the government actions and policies? I’m very confused, but I always feel that way after listening to things like this….

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