This is a stupid decision and NSA appears having no confidence on their own surveillance capability.
Let's face it, Huawei and ZTE just provide better technology than that of E/// and ALU with a much better price. Why do they have to press AT&T to buy more expensive and worse equipment?
On the other hand, BT 2000CN and 3's Mobile Broadband are using Huawei's equipments. I haven't heard MI6 had complained it.
As long as Huawei's equipments are separated from NSA's traffic, why shouldn't AT&T buy them?
The threat to national security nowadays is not from the communist China, it is from Al Qaeda. Will Huawei's equipment hinder NSA eavesdrop Al Qaeda? I rather encourage NSA to buy more equipments from Huawei or ZTE with the same budget. China is after us by their economical means and we are still stuck on idealogical difference.
This is not really surprising. When India is concerned about the security issues in using the Huawei telecom equipment no wonder US government backed NSA will definitely have concerns. But I still wonder isn't it possible to verify the security of the telecom vendor equipment? Huge businees for Huwaei will be hampered if the AT&T and Sprint decide not to buy any equipment.