At this moment, NSA's top officers are testifying in a public hearing, claiming that Prism has stopped a number of terror plots. I won't comment on how seriously we should take their assertions. I'm more interested in some of the comments by critics.

One critic's assessment was typical. "The same information could have been discovered by other means."

Let's grant that that may be true, but I'm left with the question "Okay, does could=would? WOULD those plots have been uncovered in time to thwart the attack without Prism? WOULD they have been discovered at all? 

I think we have to assume that perhaps some would have, some would not. Are the ones they would have missed resulted in terror attacks? Of course they would have.

Under many circumstances you'll find people here at TA using the "If if saves one life" argument to support this or that. Why not apply it here?

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