The Intelligence Community needs to win back the trust of the American people. It can do that, not by being defensive, but by acknowledging that periodic review, reexamination and recalibration are healthy and constructive in a self-governing society, and by bending over backwards to embrace reforms that will help restore the public's trust.
Hello from Dharamsala, India, where I'm attending a gathering of The Mind and Life Institute with the Dalai Lama, and where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wasn't bothered by this week's news that the NSA had accessed 70.3 million calls in France and tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone -- because he doesn't own a cell phone or use email. EU leaders are less sanguine and are sending a delegation to Washington for talks to set new guidelines, like Merkel's demand for a "no-spying" pact similar to one America has with the UK. As Obama said in Berlin in 2008, true partnership and progress "require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other." We've got the listening part down; trust -- not so much. If only the NSA had spied on the Department of HHS and reported back to the White House about the state of the Obamacare rollout instead.