NSA Analyst: Spying Far More Widespread than Previously Believed
Kurt Nimmo - 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.