Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Spying and Snooping Bully Boy

This is one of Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts called "Spying Bully Boy is a drag" and I planned to use it next week at the earliest but then I got online and saw some stuff and thought this might be something that needs attention today.

This is from yesterday's Democracy Now!'s "National Security Agency Whistleblower Warns Domestic Spying Program Is Sign the U.S. is Decaying Into a 'Police State:' "

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting that the NSA passed on records of intercepted email and phone calls to other government agencies including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. This news come on the heels of several other reports that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, military intelligence and local police departments have all been engaged in monitoring peaceful groups including Greenpeace, PETA -- the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Catholic Worker, anti-war groups and even bicyclists in New York City. During the 1960s and 1970s, the military used NSA intercepts to maintain files on U.S. peace activists. It was this domestic surveillance that led Congress to intervene and pass Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 in order to prevent future such abuses. The statute permits domestic intelligence surveillance with the approval of a court order from the FISA court.
In 1975, Senator Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho, said, "We have a particular obligation to examine the NSA, in light of its tremendous potential for abuse. . . . The interception of international communications signals sent through the air is the job of NSA; and, thanks to modern technological developments, it does its job very well. The danger lies in the ability of the NSA to turn its awesome technology against domestic communications."Now Congress is considering holding a new round of hearings on Bush’s domestic spying program. A bipartisan group series of Senators have already issued their public support including several top Republicans including Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
Two weeks ago, a former NSA intelligence officer publicly announced that he wants to testify before Congress. His name is Russell Tice. For the past two decades he has worked in the intelligence field both inside and outside government, most recently with the National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency. He was fired in May 2005 after he spoke out as a whistleblower.

C.I. notes that in a thing called "Spying and Seberg" that talks about how the spying before harmed.

And in the New York Times today there's an article called "Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show" (which I just read thanks to C.I.'s link). The spying by the NSA started right after 9-11 and Congress member Nancy Pelosi objected and questioned from the start. She's said that before but her letter on this was classified and we've had to wait for it be declassified. Now that parts of it are we know that when the spying started.

Little heavier Jot than I was planning for this morning but hopefully Isaiah's comic makes you chuckle and the spying is something you're already interested in.