Edward Snowden for the first time revealed the US agency’s massive spying programs.
“The United States were, at that time, using satellites to spy on American citizens. At that time, it was news organizations, the State Department, including Colin Powell, and an awful lot of senior military people and industrial types,” he said in an interview with PBS.
“This was in 2002-2003 time frame. The NSA were targeting individuals. In that case, they were judges like the Supreme Court. I held in my hand Judge Alito’s targeting information for his phones and his staff and his family,” Tice added.
Tice, who worked as an analyst of the agency for two decades, also noted that he was fired in 2005 after asking Congress to provide greater protection to whistleblowers.
He also explained about his recent communication with his colleagues at the NSA.
NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication, Says Former Analyst
Judy Woodruff sits down with two former NSA officials who blew the whistle on what they said were abuses at the NSA, along with that agency’s former inspector general, to talk about whether that secretive agency is recording all domestic calls in the U.S.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And we pick up on the continuing fallout from the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Last night, we debated the role of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence court, which approves the government’s requests to gather intelligence information on Americans.
Tonight, we have a conversation with three former NSA officials, a former inspector general and two NSA veterans who blew the whistle on what they say were abuses and mismanagement at the secret government intelligence agency.
William Binney worked at the NSA for over three decades as a mathematician, where he designed systems for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. He retired in 2001. And Russell Tice had a two-decade career with the NSA where he focused on collection and analysis. He says he was fired in 2005 after calling on Congress to provide greater protection to whistle-blowers.
He claims the NSA tapped the phone of high-level government officials and the news media 10 years ago.
RUSSELL TICE, former National Security Agency analyst: The United States were, at that time, using satellites to spy on American citizens. At that time, it was news organizations, the State Department, including Colin Powell, and an awful lot of senior military people and industrial types.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, this is the early 2000s.
RUSSELL TICE: This was in 2002-2003 time frame. The NSA were targeting individuals. In that case, they were judges like the Supreme Court. I held in my hand Judge Alito’s targeting information for his phones and his staff and his family.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Bill Binney, what was your sense of who was being targeted and why they were being targeted? And what was being collected, in other words?
WILLIAM BINNEY, former National Security Agency technical leader: Well, I wasn’t aware of specific targeting like Russ was. I just saw the inputs were including hundreds of millions of records of phone calls of U.S. citizens every day. So it was virtually — there wasn’t anybody who wasn’t a part of this collection of information.
So, virtually, you could target anybody in this country you wanted.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Both Binney and Tice suspect that today, the NSA is doing more than just collecting metadata on calls made in the U.S. They both point to this CNN interview by former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Clemente was asked if the government had a way to get the recordings of the calls between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife.
TIM CLEMENTE, former FBI counterterrorism agent: On the national security side of the house, in the federal government, you know, we have assets. There are lots of assets at our disposal throughout the intelligence community and also not just domestically, but overseas. Those assets allow us to gain information, intelligence on things that we can’t use ordinarily in a criminal investigation.
All digital communications are — there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past. And I can’t go into detail of how that’s done or what’s done. But I can tell you that no digital communication is secure.
NSA Blackmailing Obama? | Interview with Whistleblower Russ Tice
Published on Jul 9, 2013
Abby Martin talks to Russell Tice, former intelligence analyst and original NSA whistleblower, about how the recent NSA scandal is only scratches the surface of a massive surveillance apparatus, citing specific targets the he saw spying orders for including former senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.