Whistleblower: NSA Spying On & Blackmailing Top Gov’t & Military Officers

NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – tells Peter B. Collins:

Tice: “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 Court that 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 the executive 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.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DmN80yi5mo&feature=player_embedded

Collins: “Now Russ, the targeting of the people that you just mentioned, top military leaders, members of Congress, intelligence community leaders and the–oh, I’m sorry, it was intelligence committees, let me correct that–not intelligence community, and then executive branch appointees. This creates the basis, and the potential for massive blackmail.”

Tice: “Absolutely! And remember we talked about that before, that I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on. Now here’s the big one. I haven’t given you any names. This was is summer of 2004. One of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with, with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now, would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, DC. That’s who they went after. And that’s the president of the United States now.”

By WashingtonsBlog.com

Over 64% of reporters say Feds spying on them

In a survey of investigative reporters that makes Richard Nixon’s enemies list look like child’s play, nearly seven in 10 said they believe that the Obama administration has spied on their phone calls, emails and online searches.

According to a Pew Research Center survey of 454 media figures, 64 percent “believe that the U.S. government has probably collected data” from their calls and email and eight in 10 believe just being a journalist jumps the chance Uncle Sam is spying on them.

The survey follows multiple reports of actual spying by federal officials on reporters, and the White House’s effort to track down those who leak information to reporters despite long-forgotten promises to be the most transparent administration ever.

Still, most reporters said that they continue to plug away.

“Just 14 percent say that in the past 12 months, such concerns have kept them from pursuing a story or reaching out to a particular source, or have led them to consider leaving investigative journalism altogether,” said the survey of members of Investigative Reporters and Editors by Pew in association with Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

It has, though, prompted about half to change how they do their job, by inventing new ways to store and collect their information.

That’s in part because they don’t have much faith in online security offered by their employers or internet service providers.

By Paul Bedard – Washington Examiner –

Note from OnlyWay Editor David McElroy: I too feel spied upon.

Why the US Postal Service Turned Spy

By Mark Nestmann – Nestmann.com –

FATCA and similar laws have eviscerated financial privacy in the US. And last year, thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the world learned the extent of the surveillance conducted by America’s largest spy agency, the NSA.

Now the Postal Service has joined in the game, introducing an NSA-style dragnet over mail delivery.

The most shocking aspect of the crackdown against financial and electronic privacy is the lengths that Congress, the Treasury Department, the NSA, and now the Postal Service have gone to subvert our constitutional right to privacy.

The lesson is the same, too. If you want privacy – of any type – you won’t find it in the US. But you will find it offshore.

How Treasury and the NSA Subverted Privacy in the US

Acting through the non-governmental organization called the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Treasury Department forced supposedly non-binding recommendations into law. This has had the effect of gradually subverting any meaningful constitutional protection of your financial privacy from the US government. Today, Treasury agencies are literally hardwired into America’s banks and must be notified instantly whenever a customer engages in a “suspicious transaction.” Your bank statement, individual financial transactions, and even copies of your checks are available for warrantless inspection by the IRS anytime….

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the government can’t open first-class mail, such as letters and sealed packages, unless a court issues a warrant backed by probable cause. (Newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and other printed matter have no such protection.) But the privacy advantages of first-class mail have mostly disappeared, thanks to the War on Terror.

Before 2001, the only way that the Postal Inspection Service could inspect mail was if it fit into broad “suspicious package profiles” the service had created. The profiles relied on dog sniffs carried out by animals trained to alert to narcotics, other contraband, or cash. Drug-sniffing dogs may check packages sent to or from “source areas for the distribu­tion of narcotics and/or controlled sub­stances.” It turns out that every major city in the US is such a “source area.”

After 9/11, that wasn’t enough for Congress. In 2002, it gave the Customs Service the authority to conduct warrantless searches of international first-class mail. And in 2006, President George W. Bush quietly asserted a new government prerogative to open any type of mail. In a “signing statement” attached to a reform act that was support to enhance postal privacy, Bush claimed the government could open any postal correspondence without a warrant, probable cause, or even suspicion that it contains dangerous materials or contraband. The only requirement is that the mail opening be related to “foreign intelligence collection.”

Of course, just about anything could conceivably be related to “foreign intelligence collection.” It’s a loophole big enough to drive a truck through.

 
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