While Edward Snowden continues to make nightly news on his whistleblowing of the National Security Agency, the original NSA whistleblower – ex intelligence analyst for the NSA, Russ Tice – has come out on the record again, this time accusing the NSA of systemic, unconstitutional blackmail of top government officials, military officers and others.
“Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Courtthat I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in theexecutive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups. So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff. And you know, when I said to [former MSNBC show host Keith] Olbermann, I said, my particular thing is high tech and you know, what’s going on is the other thing, which is the dragnet. The dragnet is what Mark Klein is talking about, the terrestrial dragnet. Well my specialty is outer space. I deal with satellites, and everything that goes in and out of space. I did my spying via space. So that’s how I found out about this.”
Among his allegations, Russ Tice also said that part of his job back in 2004 (1 year before he was dismissed by the NSA for pushing for more regulation) involved wiretapping Illinois Senator and current head-of-state Barack Obama.
Russ Tice’s information isn’t new, although no source associated with these allegations has had the credibility that he does up until now. Despite his allegations, Tice has received limited recognition from mainstream media outlets, with the exception of Fox News broadcaster Bill O’Reilly who attacked Tice’s credibiliy and suggested he should be jailed for treason.
Tice further went on to testify before Congress about electronic intelligence programs carried out illegally by the NSA, however committee members didn’t have the clearance to adequately review the program.
“This thing is incredible what NSA has done. They’ve basically turned themselves – in my opinion – into a rogue agency that has J Edgar Hoover capabilities on a monstrous scale on steroids.”
via Washingtons Blog