Since the public learned in June about sweeping National Security Agency programs, government officials from President Obama on down have insisted the nation's surveillance programs are subject to layers of oversight.
"I am comfortable that the program currently is not being abused," Mr. Obama said in a press conference last week, when he announced new efforts at increasing transparency. "Part of the reason they're not abused is because these checks are in place."
However, the latest revelation that the NSA violated privacy rules thousands of times, as documented in an internal report—an internal report withheld from at least one leader in Congress responsible for oversight—proves the president and several others in Washington were wrong. The NSA broke privacy rules more than 2,700 times within just one year, according to a May 2012 internal NSA report that was leaked to the Washington Post, along with other secret documents.