(Washington, DC)  --  The head of the National Security Agency says government surveillance programs have helped prevent "dozens" of terrorist attacks.  In a Senate hearing, General Keith Alexander talked briefly about the controversy over government surveillance and NSA data mining.  He noted that the NSA is compiling figures on exactly how many terror plots have been disrupted.  

Alexander said he wants the agency to be as transparent as possible in the growing public debate over national security threats and privacy rights.  He insisted that the NSA strives to do the right things to protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks, within the law and with the consent of a special federal court.