Russ Tice was one of several Bush-era whistleblowers who claimed the US government is spying on the American people. Tice now says the US government is spying on specific, powerful citizens.
Considering the latest revelations about NSA spying, it’s getting harder to ignore Mr. Tice.
Tice says the NSA is copying the word-for-word content of every email, every phone conversation and storing it at the Spy Center in Utah.
He says further that with his own satellite capabilities he could see that the NSA investigated news organizations, US international companies, financial institutions, the State Department (Colin Powell), and generals. He said he later found out that they went after law firms, more generals and admirals, the Supreme Court (Judge Alito’s numbers), and even Barack Obama before he became a US Senator.
Mr. Tice did an interview with the boilingfrog.com (I’m not sure how seriously to take a site with the name boiling frog) in which he said the following:
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. The Senate and the House – especially on the intelligence committees, and on the armed services committees and judicial. But they went after other ones too. They went after lawyers and law firms. 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 anti-war groups. They went after US companies that do international business around the world. They went after US banking firms and financial firms that do international business.
They went after NGOs like the red cross and people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few anti-war civil rights groups. So don’t tell me that theres no abuse because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it.
Tice’s interviews with TV news were cancelled and he was told that the legal department felt they couldn’t go ahead with the interviews.
Tice told Russia Today, a Russian propaganda channel, that the orders for the spying originally came down from Dick Cheney’s office. He claims to be a Republican but believes Bush is a liar. He voted for Obama because of Obama’s claim that he would stop these kinds of things but now sees Obama as a liar as well.
Snowden has said much the same thing but he has been working with vehemently anti-American forces such as the Guardian reporters and Wikileaks. He has been in China, is now in Russia, and wants to go to Venezuela. That does not speak well of Snowden or his motives. He appears to be a traitor.
Snowden did, however, present tangible evidence and we now have leaks coming via CNET that the US government is demanding the passwords, algorithms, and the salt attached to US citizens.
Tice believes that the slides which Snowden gave to the Guardian, and which have not been released in total, would reveal their targets. That is conjecture on his part.
We do know that the US Post Office is photographing every single piece of mail that passes through. We also know that the NSA is data mining, collecting emails, phone messages, and other data Americans send via Internet providers.
The metadata has already been used against the AP and James Rosen, a Fox News reporter.
The NSA claims they are not reading content, just collecting metadata.
Are we being bamboozled by the whistleblowers or the US government or is the truth somewhere in between?
Listen to the Boiling Frog Podcast to hear Mr. Tice talk about the NSA spying and decide for yourself.
The possibility of limitless blackmail does exist just from what we know now. The potential for other types of abuse is also limitless. The end-result could one day be a police state. Americans need to be ever-vigilant and not be quieted with a false promise of security.
A just-released Fox News poll shows that 47% of Americans believe the NSA program is more likely to hurt Americans while 41% say it is more likely to hurt terrorists. Another 52% say the US can’t keep secrets.