Tag Archives: NSA

The NSA’s Inspector General Opens Investigation Into Allegations of Illegal Spying on Tucker Carlson, by Glenn Greenwald

Often, the allegations the beautiful people mock end up being the truth. That the NSA’s inspector general is investigating Tucker Carlson’s allegations that the NSA illegally spied on him indicates that he is taking those allegations seriously. Don’t be too surprised if they end up being true. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

Tucker Carlson speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon )

The independent watchdog agency which investigates potential wrongdoing by the National Security Agency (NSA) announced on Tuesday morning that it has opened an investigation into “recent allegations that the NSA improperly targeted the communications of a member of the U.S. news media.” Though the oversight unit, the NSA’s Office of the Inspector General, did not specify the journalist in question, the statement leaves no doubt that the investigation pertains to news reports that the identity of Fox News host Tucker Carlson had been improperly “unmasked” and illegally revealed within the intelligence community.

The full statement from the Inspector General reads:

The NSA’s Inspector General, Robert P. Storch, is a long-time Executive Branch functionary. He was first appointed to this position by President Obama in 2016 but failed to receive Senate confirmation. He was then re-appointed by President Trump in 2018 and the Senate then confirmed him. A widely respected bureaucrat in Washington, he also previously served as deputy Inspector General in Obama’s Justice Department, and, prior to that, was a federal prosecutor. It is, to put it mildly, difficult to imagine him opening an investigation into frivolous allegations.

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Snowden Grills WaPo for ‘Embarrassingly Weak’ Reaction to NSO Spyware Scandal, Says it’s Untrue Pegasus Can’t Target US Phones, by RT News

The Washington Post demonstrates the mainstream media’s see, hear, and speak no evil approach to Israel. From RT News at rt.com:

Snowden grills WaPo for ‘embarrassingly weak’ reaction to NSO spyware scandal, says it’s untrue Pegasus can’t target US phones

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Spying and Smearing is “Un-American,” not Tucker Carlson, by Matt Taibbi

Like Trump, Tucker Carlson has a gift for driving his enemies crazy. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

Authoritarian arrogance is handing a ratings bonanza to the onetime Daily Show target, who laughs: “It was easy to be Lenny Bruce in 1963.”

On Monday, June 28th, Fox host Tucker Carlson dropped a bomb mid-show, announcing he’d been approached by a “whistleblower” who told him he was being spied on by the NSA.

“The National Security Agency is monitoring our electronic communications,” he said, “and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”

The reaction was swift, mocking, and ferocious. “Carlson is sounding more and more like InfoWars host and notorious conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones,” chirped CNN media analyst Brian Stelter. Vox ripped Carlson as a “serial fabulist” whose claims were “evidence-free.” The Washington Post quipped that “in a testament to just how far the credibility of Tucker Carlson Tonight has cratered,” even groups like Pen America and the Reporters Committee on the Freedom of the Press were no-commenting the story, while CNN learned from its always-reliable “people familiar with the matter” that even Carlson’s bosses at Fox didn’t believe him.

None of this is surprising. A lot of media people despise Carlson. He may be Exhibit A in the n+2 epithet phenomenon that became standard math in the Trump era, i.e. if you thought he was an “asshole” in 2015 you jumped after Charlottesville straight past racist to white supremacist, and stayed there. He’s spoken of in newsrooms in hushed tones, like a mythical monster. The paranoid rumor that he’s running for president (he’s not) comes almost entirely from a handful of editors and producers who’ve convinced themselves it’s true, half out of anxiety and half subconscious desperation to find a click-generating replacement for Donald Trump.

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In Defense of Tucker Carlson, by Andrew Napolitano

The NSA monitoring Tucker Carlson and Andrew Napolitano’s texts and emails and listening to their conversations without warrants or probable cause violates the Constitution, which each NSA employee has sworn to uphold. From Andrew Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

In March 2017, I received a tip from a friend in the intelligence community that the British Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ — the United Kingdom’s domestic and foreign spies — had been asked by the CIA to spy on candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S presidential election campaign. He elaborated that Trump’s claim that “someone tapped my wires” was essentially true. The tip was potentially explosive, so I ran it past two other friends in the intelligence community, and they confirmed it.

When I went public with this, all hell broke loose in my professional life. The British spies denied spying on Trump, who by now was the president of the United States. Former Obama administration folks denied asking the Brits to do this and denied that it was done.

I was accused of fabricating this so as to make Trump look good. The prime minister of the U.K. had one of her deputies call my bosses at Fox and demand that I recant what I had said or be fired. Fox asked me to lay low for 10 days, which I did, but Fox backed me when I explained the verifications conducted by my sources.

My source spoke to British agents who confirmed that their colleagues had spied on Trump.

When I went back on air, my colleague Bill Hemmer asked if I stood by my revelations. I told Bill that getting beaten up in the press is the price one occasionally pays for challenging those in power. Two months later, four GCHQ agents told The Guardian newspaper of London that my revelations were true, and my professional life returned to normal.

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Make Way for the Snitch State: The All-Seeing Fourth Branch of Government, by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead

They know more about you than you do. From John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“It is just when people are all engaged in snooping on themselves and one another that they become anesthetized to the whole process. As information itself becomes the largest business in the world, data banks know more about individual people than the people do themselves. The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.”—Marshall McLuhan, From Cliche To Archetype

We’re being spied on by a domestic army of government snitches, spies and techno-warriors.

This government of Peeping Toms is watching everything we do, reading everything we write, listening to everything we say, and monitoring everything we spend.

Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it is all being recorded, stored, and catalogued, and will be used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

This far-reaching surveillance has paved the way for an omnipresent, militarized fourth branch of government—the Surveillance State—that came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum.

Indeed, long before the National Security Agency (NSA) became the agency we loved to hate, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were carrying out their own secret mass surveillance on an unsuspecting populace.

Even agencies not traditionally associated with the intelligence community are part of the government’s growing network of snitches and spies.

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Reporters Once Challenged the Spy State. Now, They’re Agents of It, by Matt Taibbi

The mainstream press in this country can’t even be called the press. It’s better termed a public relations agency for the government and the Democratic party. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

News companies are pioneering a new brand of vigilante reporting, partnering with the spy agencies they once oversaw

Former CIA director John Brennan was a media villain, now he’s media himself.

What a difference a decade makes.

Just over ten years ago, on July 25, 2010, Wikileaks released 75,000 secret U.S. military reports involving the war in Afghanistan. The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel helped release the documents, which were devastating to America’s intelligence community and military, revealing systemic abuses that included civilian massacres and an assassination squad, TF 373, whose existence the United States kept “protected” even from its allies.

The Afghan War logs came out at the beginning of a historic stretch of true oppositional journalism, when outlets like Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, The New York Times, and others partnered with sites like Wikileaks. Official secrets were exposed on a scale not seen since the Church Committee hearings of the seventies, as reporters pored through 250,000 American diplomatic cables, secret files about every detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and hundreds of thousands of additional documents about everything from the Iraq war to coverups of environmental catastrophes, among other things helping trigger the “Arab Spring.”

There was an attempt at a response — companies like Amazon, Master Card, Visa, and Paypal shut Wikileaks off, and the Pentagon flooded the site with a “denial of service” attack — but leaks continued. One person inspired by the revelations was former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who came forward to unveil an illegal domestic surveillance program, a story that won an Oscar and a Pulitzer Prize for documentarian Laura Poitras and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. By 2014, members of Congress in both parties were calling for the resignations of CIA chief John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, both of whom had been caught lying to congress.

The culmination of this period came when billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar launched The Intercept in February 2014. The outlet was devoted to sifting through Snowden’s archive of leaked secrets, and its first story described how the NSA and CIA frequently made errors using geolocation to identify and assassinate drone targets. A few months later, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden admitted, “We kill people based on metadata.”

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The U.S. Intelligence Community, Flouting Laws, is Increasingly Involving Itself in Domestic Politics, by Glenn Greenwald

Anyone who paid attention to Russiagate knows that the CIA and the NSA were involved in domestic politics, in flat-out contravention of US law. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

A letter from House Intelligence Committee members demands answers from the DNI about illegal breaches of the wall guarding against CIA and NSA domestic activity.

Then-Vice President Joseph Biden (L) with former Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta (R) at CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A report declassified last Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security is raising serious concerns about the possibly illegal involvement by the intelligence community in U.S. domestic political affairs.

Entitled “Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021,” the March 1 Report from the Director of National Intelligence states that it was prepared “in consultation with the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security—and was drafted by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with contributions from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).”

Its primary point is this: “The IC [intelligence community] assesses that domestic violent extremists (DVEs) who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States pose an elevated threat to the Homeland in 2021.” While asserting that “the most lethal” of these threats is posed by “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and militia violent extremists (MVEs),” it makes clear that its target encompasses a wide range of groups from the left (Antifa, animal rights and environmental activists, pro-choice extremists and anarchists: “those who oppose capitalism and all forms of globalization”) to the right (sovereign citizen movements, anti-abortion activists and those deemed motivated by racial or ethnic hatreds).

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The Coming War on Privacy, by Andrew P. Napolitano

The war on privacy is fully engaged. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

When Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked at his confirmation hearings earlier this month what his priorities would be if confirmed, he responded immediately that it would be a vigorous pursuit of domestic terrorism. He did not say he would lead vigorous prosecutions, just vigorous pursuits.

This is dangerous business for the Department of Justice because it transforms its role from prosecuting crimes after they happen to predicting who would commit crimes that never happen.

How could the feds predict crimes? They would attempt to do so by a serious uptick in domestic surveillance of broad categories of people based on political and ideological views. The government loves to cast out fishing nets — so to speak — and then intimidate or prosecute whomever they bring in.

The National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person strong domestic spying apparatus — already captures all data transmitted on fiber optic cable into, out of, and within the U.S.; that’s every email, text and phone call. But they don’t admit to this. When the FBI desperately sought to gain entry to the cellphones of two deceased mass murderers in San Bernardino, California, a few years ago, the NSA would not help them because doing so would acknowledge the NSA’s mass warrantless spying.

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Hero or Traitor? by John Stossel

John Stossel was able to interview Edward Snowden recently via a Zoom call. As always, Snowden had things to say to which attention should be paid. From Stossel at theburningplatform.com:

Hero or Traitor?

President Donald Trump should pardon Edward Snowden.

Who?

I know, it’s embarrassing — Assange, Manning, Snowden… Who did what?

I got them confused before I researched this topic. National security isn’t my beat. I finally educated myself this month because I got a chance to interview Snowden, the CIA/NSA employee who told the world that our government spied on us but lied to Congress about it.

Now Snowden hides from American authorities.

We talked via Zoom.

Fourteen years ago, when Snowden worked for the CIA, and then the NSA, he signed agreements saying he would not talk about what he did. I confronted him about breaking his promise.

“What changed me,” he answers, “was the realization that what our government actually does was very different than the public representation of it.”

The NSA’s mass surveillance program was meant to find foreign terrorists. When congressmen asked NSA officials if, without warrants, they collected data on Americans, they lied and said, “No.”

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Edward Snowden Deserves a Pardon, by David S. D’Amato

Edward Snowden deserves a pardon and every conceivable award that can be bestowed on a man. From David S. D’Amato at aier.org:

snowden

The global spotlight was cast upon Edward Snowden in 2013 after he blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance programs. Working with The Guardian and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, Snowden famously (or infamously, depending on one’s point of view) revealed that the NSA was illegally gathering information on tens of millions of Americans—citizens who had been accused of no wrongdoing. Now, Snowden’s case is once again in the news, as President Trump recently told reporters that he will look carefully at “the Snowden situation,” going as far as polling his aides as to whether he should pardon the exiled whistleblower.

Snowden was a responsible whistleblower who took the role seriously and made careful, deliberate decisions in choosing the documents he would share with journalists. He performed this immeasurably brave act of public service at an enormous personal and professional cost. In an instant, he became one of the world’s most wanted individuals, reviled as a traitor by some of the most powerful and dangerous people in the world’s most powerful and dangerous government. “Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate,” Snowden understood the risks; he understood that the CIA or “[a]ny of their agents or assets” could come after him.

Known liar Michael Hayden, for example, has called Snowden a traitor and is sufficiently shameless to argue, “Whistleblowing requires someone to actually point out a violation of law and [Snowden] has not done that.” Of course, the programs Snowden exposed were in fact quite illegal and, according to many legal scholars, unconstitutional.

Hayden, whose career has seen him hold the top spot of Director at both the NSA and the CIA, intentionally misled Congress when he testified in 2007 on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. James Clapper, who led the intelligence community under Obama, similarly lied to Congress when, replying to a question from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), he stated under oath that the federal government does “not wittingly” collect “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper, of course, knew he wasn’t telling the truth, but claimed that he “made a big mistake” and was thinking of another government surveillance program and “didn’t understand.”

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