9-11 was not a failure of overseas intelligence gathering being coordinated with domestic agencies- it was a failure of the FBI to process vital tips from field agents regarding tell tale actions by foreigners on USofA soil.
The NSA didn't invent using propaganda or monitoring electronic signals for our national 'interest'. We do remember a very recent use of DoD propaganda printed in Iraqi news sources under Iraqi reporter's by lines in an attempt to influence the people we were 'helping'- don't we?
I would say if one describes our nation as a non functioning democracy it is more so due to a deadlocked hyper partisan political climate, intensive lobbying by big money special interest groups and a growing sense of 'I got mine, to hell with the rest of you'. As our economy turns from a consumer driven one to a wealth hoarding one, democracy suffers. A constant drumbeat to maintain a military not just defensive in nature but capable of enforcing our corporate demands on the world turns us away from our own citizens and unequal social conditions. Our big cities, once the pinnacle of our nation are now the blight of it- and you can't blame liberals for that- ALL of society and political leanings have a hand in this.
Our drone program seems like a bad sci-fi movie where an E-Vile Empire enforces it's rule on a subject planet by overhead death orbs.
But to me the use of the NSA to monitor and influence social babble is just an extension of what governments have been doing for centuries, just updated to match the new social trends.