This without a doubt is one of the many things at the top of my list of outrages of the Bush administration. This is a complete disregard of the Constitution and especially the 1st and 4th amendment. Then we were lied to about what the program entailed. I could also add the outing of Valarie Plame as obvious revenge toward her husband Joe Wilson for telling the truth about the false claim that Saddam had tried to buy “yellowcake” from Niger and exposing the forged document as additional lies. Also after 9/11 telling Congress to “trust him” and pass the Patriot Act (which is unconstitutional) without reading it first to protect Americans. Congress was told it was for “terrorists” only to be convicted. Now eight years later we see US citizens being arrested for all sorts of things and being charged with “terrorism” under the Patriot Act. Here’s one silly example and later I may do an entire article just on the hypocracy of the USA Patriot Act………..Spanking your children on an airplane will get you charged with terrorism under the USA Patriot Act. This administration has done so many things it’s hard to pick just one, but this wiretapping thing is so blatant a violation of our Constitution…..Now back to the Illegal Wiretapping of George W Bush on US citizens.
NSA Analyst: Spying on US Citizens Far More Widespread than First Thought
January 22, 2009
On January 21, former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice appeared Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show. Tice, who helped expose the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping in December 2005, told Olbermann government programs designed to spy on the American people are more extensive and far reaching than previously admitted. “The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications — faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications,” Tice said. “It didn’t matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”
During the Bush administration, it was claimed the intercepts involved foreign communications and the intelligence gathered was integral to the conduct of the so-called global war on terrorism. In order to get around the warrant requirements of FISA, a bill authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against those supposedly responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001, was passed (Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists). The authorization granted Bush the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or those who harbored said persons or groups. AUMF allowed the Bush administration to avoid FISA and Wiretap Act restrictions.
But according to Tice, the NSA program was not limited to alleged al-Qaeda members, as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed at the time, but included “news organizations and reporters and journalists” in the United States. The data “was digitized and put on databases somewhere.” It was not simply journalists, however, the NSA spied on and likely continues to spy now.
“Spying on Americans by the super-secret National Security Agency is not only more widespread than President George W. Bush admits but is part of a concentrated, government-wide effort to gather and catalog information on U.S. citizens, sources close to the administration say,” Doug Thompson wrote for Capitol Hill Blue on December 27, 2005. “Besides the NSA, the Pentagon, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and dozens of private contractors are spying on millions of Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
According to Thompson and his sources in the government, the “Pentagon has built a massive database of Americans it considers threats, including members of antiwar groups, peace activists and writers opposed to the war in Iraq.” In response to publicity, the Pentagon claimed it was “reviewing the files” to determine if the information was necessary to the conduct of the putative war on terrorism. “Given the military’s legacy of privacy abuses, such vague assurances are cold comfort,” Gene Healy of the CATO Institute told Thompson. “There’s a long and troubling history of military surveillance in this country,” added Healy. “That history suggests that we should loathe allowing the Pentagon access to our personal information.”
In addition to spying by the NSA and the Pentagon, documents released in 2006 revealed the FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force monitored and infiltrated several nonviolent activist groups. “Labeling law abiding groups and their members ‘domestic terrorists’ is not only irresponsible, it has a chilling effect on the vibrant tradition of political dissent in this country,” Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU, said at the time.
According to a Washington Post report, the NSA has turned over information to the Defense Intelligence Agency, FBI, CIA and Department of Homeland Security.
Although the NSA monitors all communications — faxes, phone calls, and computer communications — it is impossible to collect all of this data, according to Tice. “What was done was sort of an ability to look at the metadata … and ferret that information to determine what communications would ultimately be collected,” he told Olbermann.
More recently, Congress has not only “showed no stomach” when it comes to illegal and unconstitutional spying of Americans, it has worked hand-in-hand with the executive and intelligence agencies to facilitate this process. In essence, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security serve as a domestic political police force little different than the NKVD of the former Soviet Union. The domestic political police force in the United States, like the NKVD’s Special Board, is interested in “socially dangerous” people, that is to say people opposed to the government.
Unlike Stalin’s NKVD, the FBI and Homeland Security have yet to engage in a Great Purge of arrests, interrogation, torture, imprisonment, and deportation. Bush, however, through the Military Commissions Act and other draconian legislation, has set the stage for a political purge, especially if another terrorist attack occurs in the United States. Executive Orders associated with FEMA stand ready to suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and round up “socially dangerous” people and send them to newly constructed KBR concentration camps.
On Thursday, Russel Tice returned to the airwaves with expanded allegations against the NSA, claiming the agency collected Americans’ credit card records, and adding that he believes the massive, warrantless data vacuum to be the remnants of the Total Information Awareness program, shut down by Congress in 2003.
“As far as the wiretap information that made it though NSA, there was also data-mining that was involved,” Tice told Olbermann during the pair’s second interview. “At some point, information from credit card records and financial transactions was married in with that information.”
At this point on the audio track, Olbermann can be heard taking a deep breath.
“So, lucky American citizens, tens of thousands of whom are now on digital databases at NSA, who have no idea of this, also have that information included in those digital files that have been warehoused,” said Tice.
“This thing could sit there for 10 years, then all the sudden it marries up with something else and 10 years from now and they get put on a no-fly list and they of course won’t have a clue why.”
Tice added that “in most cases,” spied-upon Americans didn’t have to do anything suspicious in order to trigger the surveillance.
Ultimately, the technical explanation boils down to this: “If someone just talked about the daily news and mentioned something about the Middle East, they could easily be brought to the forefront of having that little flag put by their name that says potential terrorist,” said Tice.
“Do you know, or do you have an educated guess, as to who authorized this? Who developed this?” asked Olbermann.
“I have a guess, where it was developed,” he replied. “I think it was probably developed out of the Department of Defense, and this is probably the remnants of Total Information Awareness, that came out of DARPA. That’s my guess, I don’t know that for sure.”
VIDEO FROM DAY TWO OF THE INTERVIEW:
Olbermann then asked if Tice knows who had access to the data.
“I started looking into this, and that’s when ultimately they came after me to fire me,” said Tice. “They must have realized that I’d stumbled onto something, and after that point I of course had no ability to find anything else out.”
Tice concluded that he does not know if the program, as he understands it, continues to this day, and he refused to specifically state which media organizations the Bush administration’s NSA had targeted for surveillance.