Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

07 June 2013

Greenwald: People At The NSA Eavesdropped On Those With Whom They Had Personal Grudges

Earlier today, Glenn Greenwald, the civil liberties lawyer and journalist who broke the story about Obama's massive meta-data-mining scandal in The Guardian, was interviewed this morning by NPR's Renee Montagne.

During the interview, he dropped this bombshell:

'There are reported examples of the NSA, analysts at the NSA, using mechanisms they have access to. ABC reported several years ago through whistle blowers that they have used it to eavesdrop on people on whom they have personal grudges. There are isolated examples of the Patriot Act being abused. The problem is that the entire system operates behind a wall of extreme secrecy.'

Listen to the whole interview here.

From an article entitled The Agency That Could Be Big Brother by James Bamford in The New York Times, Christmas Day, 2005:

'Jokingly referred to as "No Such Agency," the N.S.A. was created in absolute secrecy in 1952 by President Harry S. Truman. Today, it is the largest intelligence agency. It is also the most important, providing far more insight on foreign countries than the C.I.A. and other spy organizations.'

'That [surveillance] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology ...

I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge.
I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [NSA] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.'
-- Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), 1975, quoted in James Bamford's The Puzzle Palace

Can we all agree that there is no 'could' about it, but that the NSA IS Big Brother?

If you haven't read my rebuttal to those that argue this surveillance is not really a big deal and is legal because of a case decided in 1979, please read 'With All Due Respect, Andy McCarthy...'

For more from Glenn Greenwald, who deserves many accolades...

'So whatever the Justice Department wants to do, they can beat their chests all they want,” he said. “People like Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss can have press conferences threatening people for bringing … light to what it is they’re doing, but the only people who are going to be investigated are them. It’s well past time that these threats start to be treated with the contempt that they deserve. That’s certainly how I intend to treat them moving forward, with more investigation and disclosures.”

He also bashed the Obama administration for issuing “threats.”

“The Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing it or even doing journalism about it, and it’s well past time that come to an end,” he said.

Greenwald also told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the administration has taken a “warped and distorted” view of the PATRIOT Act, the legislation that authorized certain kinds of surveillance for security reasons in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“What the Obama administration is doing in interpreting the PATRIOT Act is so warped and distorted and it vests themselves with such extremist surveillance powers over the United States and American citizens that Americans, in their words, would be stunned to learn what the Obama administration is doing,” he said on CNN’s “The Lead.”

Speaking with MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, Greenwald dared lawmakers to investigate how information about the Verizon phone records leaked, as Feinstein has said should happen.

“Let them go and investigate,” Greenwald said.

He added, “There is this massive surveillance state that the United States government has built up that has extraordinary implications for how we live as human beings on the earth and as Americans in our country, and we have the right to know what it is that that government and that agency is doing. I intend to continue to shine light on that, and Dianne Feinstein can beat her chest all she wants and call for investigations, and none of that is going to stop and none of it is going to change.”


JTGA said...

Guess it won't be long now until they go all "obamacare" on the communication industries....cut out the middleman, the lawyers , and need for judges and warrants and such- and just "require" everybody to own and carry a phone......of course the "evil rich" will be required to provide phones for the poor....

and as always, in the spirit of his inevitable "plausible deniability", he will paraphrase Bart S. "I'm bho, your messiah, who the hell are YOU?" "And, WTF you think you gonna do about it?"

AppraisHer said...

Hubris, it's what's for breakfast in DC.