US & World
Making conversation at Thanksgiving can be hard, but apparently it's especially hard if you're an employee of the National Security Agency. So the agency has stepped in to solve the problem, issuing this list of approved talking points for fending off hostile relatives, unearthed by reporter Kevin Gosztola. If an NSA staffer was confronted by a privacy-minded relative over the long weekend, the document would keep them from being caught at a loss for words.
Some of the suggested points designed to deflect dinnertime interrogations:
The document does not mention leaker Edward Snowden, instead focusing on the agency's military ties, broad oversight, and track record in the fight against terrorism. One bullet point claims the NSA has foiled 54 terrorist attacks globally since 9/11, although these figures have been disputed. Another passage emphasizes the agency's commitment to transparency and popular approval, despite the vast number of secret programs which have recently come to light. "We encourage the American public to work with us to define the way ahead in balancing transparency and national security," the document reads. "We embrace public dialogue."
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