It is very obvious that with a 40 billion dollar per year budget, NSA must be doing a lot more than Bush Claims. ie intecepting phone calls and e-mails between suspected terrorists that have one person in a foreign country and the other in the USA.
That kind of money buys a lot of high tech information.
But if they are really doing the job of protecting us that they claim, they are going to have to open snail mail, and and a lot of it. It would also be necessary to Seal our borders, and to search every person who enters the USA by all forms of transport.
Any crew member of a foreign airliner or ship that has entered this country could easily re-mail a letter from Bin Laudin himself then send it from one U.S. city to another and it would be totally under the radar.
40 billion dollars per year to hear the administration say: "trust us", is actually quite ridiculous.