|NSA Is Building America’s Largest Spy Center
“The former NSA official (Wm. Binney in December 2012)
– James Bamford, Author, The Shadow Factory (NSA)
Reprinted June 7, 2013 – Given the current abuse by the NSA and U. S. government in spying on most of the United States, monitoring phone calls and digital communications, Earthfiles is reprinting Linda Moulton Howe’s March 30, 2012, interview with James Bamford, the only author to write three books about the National Security Agency (NSA) that was set up in secrecy on November 4, 1952, and outside Congressional oversight by the Harry Truman Administration.
James Bamford discusses the NSA’s expansion into the Utah Data Center in Fall 2013, that will be the largest spy facility known in world history. Is the United States now a totalitarian state pretending to be a red, blue and white “democracy”?
“For the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon Administration, the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the United States and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls whether they originate within the country or overseas.”
– James Bamford, Author, The Puzzle Palace and The Shadow Factory about NSA
Original March 30, 2012 Washington, D. C. – V. James Bamford was born on September 15, 1946, in Natick, Massachusetts. He was drafted into the U. S. Navy during the Vietnam war from 1964 to 1967, where “I was a low level paper shuffler in Navy intelligence, but not a formal analyst.” Using the G. I. bill, he went on to study law at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon graduation, he decided rather than be a lawyer, he wanted to write and the subject he was most provoked about was the super secret National Security Agency. James managed to get a book contract with Houghton Mifflin publishers and after more than five years of hard work in libraries studying obscure government documents and manuscript collections left by deceased NSA employees, filing Freedom of Information Act requests and searching for news about construction contracts that led to more information about the “No Such Agency,” James Bamford’s first groundbreaking book, The Puzzle Palace: A Report On NSA, America’s Most Secret Agency, was released in 1982.
In addition to describing the role of the NSA and explaining how it was organized, the book exposed details of a massive eavesdropping operation Operation Shamrock that included monitoring American telegrams and phone calls without warrants from the 1950s to 1975, which was illegal. According to security expert Bruce Schneier, Bamford’s book was popular with NSA employees because “the agency’s secrecy prevents its employees from knowing much about their own history.”
Before The Puzzle Palace’s publication, the Reagan administration claimed that unclassified source documents were released to Bamford in error and threatened him with legal action if he did not return 250 pages of documents he had obtained through FOIA requests. Bamford refused to turn over the documents and published the book as planned. After Bamford’s refusal, NSA classification rules were revised to allow documents to be re-classified and NSA agents were sent to libraries to remove previously declassified documents that Bamford had found and used in his book.
New York Times Washington bureau reporter Eric Lichtblau described The Puzzle Palace as “the benchmark study of the N. S. A. that first pulled back the curtain to provide a glint of unwanted sunlight on the place.”
Now 66-years-old and author of two more books about the National Security Agency – Body of Secrets © 2002 and The Shadow Factory © 2008 – on March 15, 2012, James Bamford released in Wired.com another revelation about the NSA entitled, “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say).” Bamford wrote, “For the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon Administration, the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the United States and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls whether they originate within the country or overseas.”
Bamford’s Wired article set off an internet buzz and was discussed on March 20, 2012, during a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities that had before them NSA’s Director, General Keith Alexander. Adding more buzz to James Bamford’s Wired.com article about his agency’s gigantic expansion into a new Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah, General Alexander told the subcommittee: “The NSA is not authorized to do warrantless wiretapping nor do we have the equipment in the United States to collect that kind of information.”
The next day on March 21, 2012, James Bamford wrote another Wired.com article that countered General Alexander under the headline, “NSA Chief Denies Domestic Spying, But Whistleblowers Say Otherwise.” On March 25th, I talked with James Bamford at his London home about the insider source he had for the alarming details about the million-square-foot Utah Data Center now under construction scheduled for operation in September 2013, that will have the ability to capture and store “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, Google searches as well as all sorts of personal data trails such as parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital information.”
James Bamford, Author, The Puzzle Palace © 1982; Body of Secrets © 2002; The Shadow Factory © 2008, Washington, D. C. and London, England: “One of the people I interviewed for the Wired.com article was William Binney. He had been the architect of the NSA’s worldwide eavesdropping operation. He was also in charge of automating the worldwide eavesdropping operation. He told me in very clear language how the NSA was intercepting the communications of Americans.
IN FACT, YOU DESCRIBE IN YOUR WIRED ARTICLE WHEN HE IS TALKING TO YOU AND HELD HIS THUMB AND FOREFINGER CLOSE TOGETHER AND SAID, ‘WE ARE THAT FAR FROM A TURNKEY TOTALITARIAN STATE.’ COULD YOU TALK ABOUT WHO HE IS, WHY HE LEFT THE NSA AND HOW HE CAME TO TELL YOU THIS?
William Binney worked at NSA for almost forty years. He is a crypto mathematician making and breaking codes. His job at NSA in the late 1990s and during the 2000s, he was deputy chief of the organization at NSA that was responsible basically for eavesdropping all around the world. And he was the technical director. He was the one who helped create the system that made that possible.
And he was also the founder and co-director of an organization known as the Signals Intelligence Automated Research Center, SIARC. That organization was responsible for taking the worldwide eavesdropping network and automating it so that information could be picked up automatically and sent back to NSA. But he left in disgust in late 2001 after discovering that the system he developed was now being used to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, which is illegal. And so Bill Binney did the honorable thing, which was not taking part in it and leaving the agency. He said, “The NSA violated the Constitution setting it up. But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.”
Then he was quiet for many years about this and then finally decided when I was doing this article for Wired.com to explain the system and how it worked.
SO HE IS A PERSON WHO CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE INSIDE KNOWLEDGE WHEN HE SAID WE ARE CLOSE TO A ‘TURNKEY TOTALITARIAN STATE.’ HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED?
Well, this happened because after 9/11, the Bush Administration decided to weaken the laws and go around the laws and to begin turning NSA’s giant ear that was always focused outward since the abuses of the Nixon Administration and turn it inward. That was all done illegally and secretly by the Bush Administration until December 2005 when The New York Times made a revelation about the abuse.
And then after that, some of the reforms were put back into place, but they were in much weaker form then they were originally. Today there is still no real accountability for NSA. They are not called before Congress and asked questions about how they do their work; how many people are targeted; how many Americans are there targeted? So the American public is just left without any knowledge about this agency and how it does its work and whether the NSA is obeying the laws.
If you look at NSA’s history – I wrote three books about the NSA over the past thirty years – much of its history has been involved with illegal eavesdropping on American citizens. The NSA was formed in 1952 and until 1975, during that entire period of time, NSA was illegally eavesdropping on American communications. They were reading every telegram that came into the United States or went out of the United States or through the United States during that entire period in an operation called OPERATION SHAMROCK. Again, without any warrants, not a single warrant.
The NSA was also eavesdropping on telephone calls of anti-war protesters and so forth – again without a warrant. That was until 1975. And then there was this period from 1975 – or actually 1978 when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was created (FISA court). Then again in 2011, the Bush Administration turned NSA’s eavesdropping on American citizens and then the Congress changed the law to weaken the protections that were put in place in 1975 to 1978.
So for probably half of its history, NSA was doing illegal spying on United States citizens and the American public has to wonder what this agency is and it’s never had more power than it has today because of the technological capabilities given to it.
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander Contradicts
YOUR MARCH 15, 2012, WIRED.COM ARTICLE PROVOKED THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE ON EMERGING THREATS AND CAPABILITIES . THEY HELD A CONGRESSIONAL SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON MARCH 20TH. BEFORE THEM WAS GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER, WHO IS NSA’S CURRENT DIRECTOR, ON THE TOPIC OF EAVESDROPPING ON AMERICANS PROVOKED BY YOUR ARTICLE. ALEXANDER TOLD THE SUBCOMMITTEE THIS QUOTE: ‘THE NSA IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO DO WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING, NOR DO WE HAVE THE EQUIPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES TO COLLECT THAT KIND OF INFORMATION.’
VARIOUS MEDIA THEN PICKED UP ON THAT SAYING GENERAL ALEXANDER WAS DENYING EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAD SAID IN YOUR WIRED ARTICLE. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO WHAT GENERAL ALEXANDER IS SAYING IN HIS DENIALS?
Obviously the NSA has the capability to eavesdrop on Americans in the United States because that’s the whole idea that they were involved in the warrantless eavesdropping in the United States.
HAS MR. BINNEY PROVIDED YOU WITH HARD EVIDENCE FROM HIS WORK THERE?
Well, he worked there for 40 years and he was in charge of the automation of that system, so the documents are all TOP SECRET. He’s not going to bring out documents and hand me documents. I interviewed him for the article.
USSID 18 – Above Top Secret “NSA Dictionary”
ISN’T IT TRUE THAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY HAS ITS OWN DEFINITION OF WORDS THAT IT REFERS TO?
Yes. NSA has its own internal guidelines about how it does its eavesdropping. It’s a very thick and highly classified document. It’s classified above TOP SECRET and it’s called USSID 18 and that stands for United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18. In that, it has definitions of what words mean and one of the words that is defined is ‘intercept,’ which is the key word that we’re talking about here and was talked about at the Congressional subcommittee (hearing with General Alexander on March 20, 2012).
NSA defines intercept – not the way a normal person would think of it as capturing a communication as it goes through the air. With NSA, capturing communications as they go through the air, or through a fiber optic cable or however it’s being transmitted – that’s not intercepting communications – that does not count for NSA. So, they are intercepting hundreds of thousands or millions and billions of communications. Yet, technically, the NSA is not intercepting any communications (in NSA’s specific and deceptive word usage). Capturing and storing in Utah is not technically intercepting the communications. It’s only intercepted once that information has been processed and turned into a form that is understandable by a human being. In other words, into a report, a document.
So you can have a great deal of communications in there and you can have General Alexander say that none of that has been intercepted, but the phraseology of that term and the definition of that term and whether you are defining it as Webster defines it – or you define it the way USSID 18 defines it.
USING WORDS BASICALLY TO MANIPULATE AND HIDE BEHIND THEIR OWN DEFINITIONS. IT’S AS IF YOU WERE DESCRIBING AN ALICE IN WONDERLAND WORLD WHERE UP IS DOWN, DOWN IS UP.
What NSA Retaliation Do Whistleblowers Face?
“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans
– Adrienne Kinne, 31-year old U.S. Army Reserves Arab
You also have to understand that William Binney is facing a long prison sentence for coming out and saying what he said. And it’s not just Bill Binney – there are numerous other whistleblowers that have come out.
I interviewed a woman who was one of the intercept operators down in Georgia where NSA does a great deal of eavesdropping from. Her name is Adrienne Kinne and she told how she was directed to eavesdrop on Americans and was required to record those conversations and transcribe them. When she protested saying, ‘We should not be doing this,’ she was told to go back and keep doing it. She finally sent a letter to the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee and nobody did anything. She finally told me because nobody else would take any action.
Another intercept operator, David Faulk told me the same thing that confirmed everything that Adrienne Kinne said.
These are people I would like to see – Bill Binney, Adrienne Kinne and David Faulk and others – put on a panel, sworn in under oath and give their testimony. And I would like to see at another table the NSA answer some of these charges. That’s never happened. I think that’s one way the American public can start finding out what is really going on.
IT IS AS IF THERE IS THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY – AND THEN THERE IS THE REST OF THE UNITED STATES.
NSA is unique in this country, the most unique agency I think that has ever been created in this country. NSA was not created by an act of Congress. The NSA was created by a TOP SECRET memorandum signed by President Harry Truman in 1952. Even the contents of that memorandum were secret for decades until I wrote The Puzzle Palace © 1982 and managed to get a copy of the classified memo. [ Editor’s Note: Not reprinted in book, but summarized on Pages 1 and 2 of Chapter 1, Birth (of NSA).]
There were only a couple of people in Congress who were ever allowed to know that this agency was created in the first place. Even its name was TOP SECRET for much of the first decade (1952 to 1962). The joke has always been that NSA stands for ‘No Such Agency’ or ‘Never Say Anything.’ So it’s an agency that has existed and lived in total secrecy for its entire existence – secrecy that is protected largely by law and secrecy that is very rarely breached.
U. S. Close to Being A Totalitarian State?
IF WILLIAM BINNEY IS RIGHT ABOUT THE UNITED STATES BEING SO TO BEING A TOTALITARIAN STATE, WHERE HAS CONGRESS BEEN THROUGHOUT ALL THIS? HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED?
The problem is that Congress did fall flat on its face in terms of accountability – or keeping the NSA accountable. That’s the danger out there and that’s the danger that Bill Binney talked about. And when Binney talked about a ‘turnkey totalitarian state,’ he doesn’t mean we are necessarily a totalitarian state right now. He means that the infrastructure is there and he was the one who helped build a lot of that infrastructure. It’s ready to go. All that needs to be done is turning the key and that’s what he is worried about.
DO YOU THINK THAT WILLIAM BINNEY IS SAFE? OR IS THERE GOING TO BE NSA RETALIATION AGAINST HIM?
I don’t know. He certainly has a lot of courage because he’s the first senior NSA official involved in such intimate work with NSA’s eavesdropping activities. He was the very first to come out and speak as candidly as he has.
BUT HE REALLY IS A PATRIOT. IF HE DOESN’T SPEAK OUT, THEN JUST LIKE A LOBSTER IN A POT WITH THE WATER COMING UP TO A BOIL, IT’S WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES.
Right, exactly. He may give other people courage to come out and speak also.”
NSA’s Stellar Wind
Stellar Wind is the leaked secret code name for certain information collection activities performed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and revealed by Thomas M. Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau in 2006 to 2007. The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 1, 2001. The goals for Stellar Wind:
Wikipedia: “There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data is collected from eavesdropping on large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. In March 2004, the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft ruled that the program was illegal. The day after the ruling, Ashcroft became critically ill with acute pancreatitis. President Bush sent White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card Jr. to Ashcroft’s hospital bed, where Ashcroft lay semiconscious, to request that he sign a document reversing the Justice Department’s illegal ruling.
“However, Ashcroft was incapable of signing the document. Bush then reauthorized the operation, over formal Justice Department objections. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller, Acting Attorney General James Comey, and many prominent members of the Justice Department were prepared to resign over the matter. Valerie Capron, the FBI general counsel, said, ‘From my perspective, there was a very real likelihood of a collapse of government.’ Bush subsequently reversed the authorization.”
NSA insider whistleblower Thomas Tamm said the whole operation violated the Constitution and FBI insiders said that only about 1% of the NSA’s vast eavesdropping on Americans resulted in any useful information. One of the unexpected consequences of Stellar Wind was in “suspicious activity reports, or SARS,” about people suspected of terrorist activities. One of those SARS reports concerned former New York Governor Elliott Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, which had nothing to do with terrorism, but brought the Governor’s political career to an end.
Why Did Obama Perpetuate
HAVE YOU BEEN SURPRISED THAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS PERPETUATED THE BUSH LAWS THAT SEEM TO NOW GUT THE BILL OF RIGHTS IN MANY WAYS?
I was surprised because when Obama was in the Senate and running for President, he said he would vote to prohibit this kind of activity, he said he would filibuster against granting this kind of authority to the intelligence agencies. And he also said he would vote against giving immunity to the telecom companies for their illegal activities.
Then when push came to shove when it actually came time to vote, he did the exact opposite. He voted in favor of the legislation easing the restrictions on NSA. And he voted in favor of the legislation granting immunity not only to criminal activity, but even to lawsuits from citizens over the illegal telecom eavesdropping activities with NSA.
So Obama did the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do. From then on, I’ve never really been surprised at his lack of desire to intervene in terms of NSA activities.
DO YOU THINK THAT THE NSA SHOWED PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SOMETHING THAT SCARED HIM INTO SORT OF COMPLIANCE?
No, I just think it’s the way the political system works here. There’s nobody to the left challenging Pres. Obama. Everybody who is challenging him is to the right. So in order to win voters, he takes the left of center people – the liberals, the people who were originally the people backing him – for granted because they have nobody else to vote for.
So he has no incentive to satisfy their desires because they are taken for granted. Instead, he is going after people on the right. To go after people on the right, he’s doing the actions we just discussed: voting in favor of granting more leeway to NSA. Giving immunity to the telecom companies.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY THREATS DURING THE BUSH OR OBAMA ADMINISTRATIONS?
No, I’ve never received any threats any time except when I was doing The Puzzle Palace, my first book on NSA. The Reagan Administration did threaten me with prosecution if I went ahead with publishing the book, but I went ahead and published it anyway. They threatened me even though I never worked for the agency. The Reagan Administration went to a great extent to try to prevent me from doing the book.
DO YOU THINK THAT WILLIAM BINNEY IS SAFE? OR IS THERE GOING TO BE RETALIATION AGAINST HIM?
Well, I don’t know. He certainly has a lot of courage because he is the first senior official – and I’ve been writing on NSA for 30 years now – and he is the very first senior NSA official involved in such intimate work with NSA’s eavesdropping activities – the very first to come out and speak as candidly as he has.
And like I said, his colleague Tom Drake, who Binney worked with at NSA and who he knows very well – was charged a few years ago with exactly that – 10 felony counts for espionage for basically giving away UNCLASSIFIED information to a newspaper – information that the government itself had released over the years in various forms.
And then you also have to take into consideration that the Obama Administration has made a determined effort to go after whistleblowers. They’ve gone after more whistleblowers than all the other prior administrations combined. I think in all the other administrations put together, there are only two or three cases at the most where people had been gone after for blowing the whistle on government activity where they had actually been prosecuted.
But the Obama Administration has already gone after six. So given those statistics, it shows how brave it is for someone like Bill Binney and also Adrienne Kinne and other people I interviewed. These people could have gone and said, ‘Look, don’t use my name. I want to be a confidential source.’
But then that would have been less credible in terms of writing about that information. People could say, ‘Oh, he just made that up.’ So they (NSA whistleblowers) were determined that this information be believed and credible, so they allowed me to put their names on it. That puts them in jeopardy – and could possibly put them in great jeopardy – with this Administration going after whistleblowers the way they do.
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO HAVE A FULL CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ABOUT AND WITH THE NSA AND ABOUT THE OVERBEARING ROLE OF INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES NOW IN THE UNITED STATES?
Well, it wouldn’t take much. All you have to do is call the Senate Intelligence Committee or one of the committees call the NSA Director to ask him questions. What would probably happen at that point – and this has happened before in the mid-1970s – there was a committee member who called the Director of NSA to answer questions about the methods of NSA eavesdropping.
He refused to answer those questions – not the director, but one of his employees – refused to answer those questions. So then the White House – this was under President Gerald Ford – intervened and prevented that testimony from going ahead in a Congressional hearing.
But the government could not stop the Congressional committee from calling private citizens, however, or private companies, so the committee did call a number of telecommunication companies and they did admit that they were cooperating secretly with the NSA in eavesdropping on American citizens.
So there is precedent for doing this and it’s been over 35 years since then, so I think it’s time again that they bring more accountability like they did and try to call these NSA people before a Congressional open committee.
New CIA Director, Gen. David Patraeus,
ANOTHER AMERICAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE WHO SEEMS ENTHUSIASTIC NOW ABOUT USING SMART PHONES AND APPLIANCES IN HOMES, OFFICES AND CARS TO SPY ON AMERICANS IS GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS. HE IS THE CIA DIRECTOR AND IN MARCH 2012, HE TOLD AN IN-Q-TEL CONFERENCE THAT HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES WILL BE USED TO SPY ON AMERICANS:
THE CIA WAS GIVEN MORE LEEWAY TO SPY THROUGH SMART APPLIANCES IN ADDITION TO COMPUTERS BECAUSE OF CHANGES IN THAT 2008 FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT (FISA). AND COURT DECISIONS ABOUT THE PATRIOT ACT RAISE THE QUESTION: WHY IS THE CIA TALKING NOW THROUGH GENERAL PETRAEUS AND OTHERS AS IF IT IS SPYING INSIDE THE UNITED STATES WHEN I THOUGHT IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO. I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE FBI’S JURISDICTION. BUT NOW IN ADDITION TO THE NSA ON ALL THINGS DIGITAL, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE CIA IS JOINING IN TRYING TO COME THROUGH THE BACK DOOR OF SMART DEVICES?
Well, you raise a very good question. And I thought that news from General Petraeus was very eye-opening that the CIA would now be involved in monitoring people’s homes. If you turn on your kitchen light, that’s something now that the CIA will be able to determine. It will know when you are using the dishwasher. Once the technology switched from analog to digital in the last part of the last century in the 1990s and 1980s, that’s when all of this has been a boon for the intelligence community because they can more easily capture that information and make use of it – turn it to their own use.
So, it’s very dangerous. And again, these are the areas that don’t get any light shed on them by Congress. This Petraeus release turns out to be a slip of Petraeus saying this. This did not come out from any great Congressional investigation. You have to worry about what is going on out there because Congress does not seem to be paying too much attention. Or when they do have hearings, they are all TOP SECRET and nobody can ever know what is being said.
IF CONGRESS IS NOT OVERSEEING TO BE A REALITY CHECK, IS IT TOO LATE? ARE WE SLIPPING INTO A TOTALITARIAN STATE, AS MR. BINNEY SAID, WHETHER PEOPLE REALIZE IT OR NOT?
Well, you know the ultimate people to blame here is the American public. Who puts these people in office? Who keeps them in office? The buck does not really stop with the President. The buck stops with the voter. The voter puts the President in there. The voter can take that President out in the next election.
I think there is a tremendous amount of apathy and lack of knowledge because information is just not passed down to the grassroots from above. It takes somebody digging this out like me in writing books and doing articles. So it’s a situation that is not going to change unless the public gets angry and wants to do something about it. There’s no incentive for these military and intelligence people to change because the system is ingrained. That’s the status quo and there is no benefit for them to change unless the public forces change through the ballot box.
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY CAN NO LONGER BE REINED IN BY ANYONE?
Theoretically, it could be reined in by a President. It could be reined in by a Congress. It could be reined in by the public if they get angry enough and demand something be done. When The New York Times broke the story that NSA was illegally eavesdropping with warrantless surveillance in December 2005, then all of a sudden, there was some action in Congress.
Congress No Longer Buffer Between
DO YOU THINK IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT ONE OF THE BIG PROBLEMS IN THE UNITED STATES RIGHT NOW IS THERE IS THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES, CORPORATIONS AND CONGRESS AND THOSE ALL SEEM TO BE BOUND TOGETHER WITH SELF-INTEREST. AND THEN THERE IS THE U. S. CITIZENS WHO THINK THIS IS STILL A DEMOCRACY WHEN IT IS NOT?
One of the other factors here that is really critical and had not come out before is the fact that much of this eavesdropping that is being done is actually outsourced to private companies, not NSA itself. For example, the eavesdropping hardware and software being used to do all this interception from the telecom companies is all from different private companies.
One of these private companies that does all the eavesdropping on Verizon, for example, the president of that company is now a fugitive. He was charged with dozens of counts of fraud by the FBI and two of his top officials were also charged and pled guilty to fraud. So you have private companies putting the taps in place that were run by crooks.
Then you have the actual people doing the wiretapping with earphones on. More and more, those are being outsourced to private companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin and FAIC and other companies actually doing the interception, the eavesdropping. I think this is very important and appropriate for Congress to look into. Who is doing the eavesdropping? Who is listening to the listeners? I think that’s a key factor.
IT’S ALMOST AS IF ORWELL’S 1984 HAS ENGULFED THE UNITED STATES, BUT IT’S WORSE THAN ANYONE COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED?
Orwell wrote his book in the 1940s. He had a lot of foresight, but I think he might have gotten the year wrong – maybe it was 2004 instead of 1984. Still a lot of the issues that he brought up in the book written as a warning to the American public about what could happen if you let a government slide into totalitarianism. In his book, he describes Big Brother that watches everybody. This was before the creation of the internet and the creation of the NSA
So, it is interesting to read Orwell’s 1984 knowing what we know today about technology and the capability of the government to eavesdrop on many of its citizens.”
See: “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)”
James Bamford’s three books about the National Security Agency are at Amazon.com:
– The Puzzle Palace © 1982.
– Body of Secrets © 2002.
– The Shadow Factory © 2008.
For further reports about U. S. government secrecy and misinformation, please see reports below from Earthfiles Archive.
“The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say),”
NSA Electronic Surveillance of Americans Without Warrants:
NSA Trailblazer Project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailblazer_Project
William Binney, Late 2001 NSA Whistleblower:
Adrienne Kinne, 2008 NSA Whistleblower:
David Murfee Faulk, 2008 NSA Whistleblower:
Thomas Drake, 2006 NSA Whistleblower, March 21, 2012, Democracy Now, Part 1:
Thomas Drake, 2006 NSA Whistleblower, March 26, 2012, Democracy Now, Part 2:
New York Times, April 15, 2010, “Former N.S.A. Official Is Charged in Leaks Case”:
Thomas Andrews Drake, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Andrews_Drake
NSA’s Stellar Wind, Newsweek by Michael Isikoff, Dec. 12, 2008: “The Fed Who Blew the Whistle”: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/12/12/the-fed-who-blew-the-whistle.html
Government Accountability Project: NSA Warrentless Spying:
NSA Stellar Wind:
Fort Gordon, Georgia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Gordon
ACLU “NSA Unchained”: http://www.aclu.org/files/pages/fisainfographic3.pdf
CIA Remarks by Director David H. Petraeus at In-W-Tel CEO Summit, March 2012: