actually, the NSA was intercepting all US communications

Posted in Uncategorized by Ryan Locke on January 25, 2009

says Ryan.

Here come the leaks!  Now that Bush has left office, Russell Tice is pretty confident that he won’t be prosecuted for revealing what he knows about the NSA communications intercept program.  So reveal he does:

“The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications,” he said. “Faxes, phone calls and their computer communications. … They monitored all communications.”

Tice said the NSA analyzed metadata to determine which communication would be collected. Offering a hypothetical example, he said if the agency determined that terrorists communicate in brief, two-minute phone calls, the NSA might program its systems to record all such calls, invading the privacy of anyone prone to telephonic succinctness.

Okay, so what Bush told us NSA was doing after the NYT story broke was totally contrary to what NSA was actually doing.  But at least the program was narrowly tailored to potential terrorist activity.  Right?

[Tice] said he was told to monitor certain groups in order to eliminate them as suspects for more intense targeting. Those groups, he said, were U.S. journalists and news agencies. But rather than excluding the news organizations from monitoring, he discovered that the NSA was collecting the organizations’ communications 24 hours a day year round.

“It made no sense,” he said.

Okay, so the program specifically targeted journalists solely because they were journalists.  At least the journalists’ privacy is protected now, right?

Olbermann asked if this means there’s a file somewhere containing every e-mail and phone conversation these reporters ever had with sources, editors and family members.

“If it was involved in this specific avenue of collection, it would be everything, yes.” Tice answered.



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