Tuesday, January 24, 2006

NSA Spying On Us Since....Well, A Long Time Before 9/11


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The NSA spying story refuses to die despite the near hysterical attempts of many media whores trying to minimize or excuse this rank lawbreaking. Here is a fine investigative story by Jason Leopold (someone I helped in the past when the NYT was told to destroy him for being too snoopy!). Also, the TSA wants to rummage through all of one's private financial information before letting one join the "Registered Traveler" program.

Counterpunch:
"We don't do anything willy-nilly," Hayden said. "We're a foreign intelligence agency. We try to collect information that is of value to American decision-makers, to protect American values, America--and American lives. To suggest that we're out there, on our own, renegade, pulling in random communications, is--is simply wrong. So everything we do is for a targeted foreign intelligence purpose. With regard to the--the question of industrial espionage, no. Period. Dot. We don't do that."

But, when asked "How do we know that the fox isn't guarding the chicken coop?" Hayden responded by saying that Americans should trust the employees of the NSA.

"They deserve your trust, but you don't have to trust them," Hayden said. "We aren't off the leash, so to speak, guarding ourselves. We have a body of oversight within the executive branch, in the Department of Defense, in the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is comprised of both government and nongovernmental officials. You've got both houses of Congress with--with very active--in some cases, aggressive--intelligence oversight committees with staff members who have an access badge to NSA just like mine."
Oh, goodie gum drops. The President and his neo con minions are watching the NSA!

Well, that is the entire, 100% problem! That isn't oversight! Unless one is Hitler or Stalin! That simply makes collusion even more likely. All the busy neo cons with their enemies lists and thin skinned Bush wanting to spy on the UN, on our allies, on embassies, on little old Quaker ladies and Franciscan priests. Spying on me, on you, and they do spy on me. They have done this off and on all my life, the names of the organizations spying changes but the excuses are always the same.

Jason Leopold was fired by the NY Times because of his investigations of Bush and Lay of Enron, specifically, them plotting to destabilize places like, ahem, Iraq. Pre-9/11.

Anything you read by Jason about all these dark, nasty, dirty doings, please pay attention, he digs diligently and I happen to trust what he writes which is why, when he was stunned by the dismissal, I immediately reached out to tell him where he could be published again. Thank goodness, he isn't another "suicide" like so many others. Of course, he is being watched by the NSA and whoever does the domestic spying. So he has quite a few reasons to run stories about this and like me, be alarmed about what it all means.

I see he is publishing a memoir, "News Junkie." Can't wait to see it.

Increasingly irate business travelers were promised a new system which would speed them through airports. From USA Today:
The TSA said it will require "in-depth security background checks" that may involve "using commercial data" for people applying to the Registered Traveler program that starts in June. The checks will help verify people's identities to prove they have no ties to terrorism.

Commercial databases hold personal information from credit reports, property records, shopping histories and other records. TSA chief Kip Hawley said such data can be useful in flagging terrorists, who often won't appear in most U.S. commercial lists.
This scheme is "privatized" which means the companies such as dear old Diebold will get to go through all your private financial data including what you purchased on all your credit cards, where you stay when traveling, everything, absolutely everything.

Of course, this information will end up being hacked, stolen, used to blackmail people, in general, the drones shifting through this goldmine of information will be little paid, ambitious people, it would certainly attract, ahem, unsavory types, right?

Worse, the NSA will immediately collude with the screeners to dig around, too, "Looking for terrorists," of course. And anyone else they might discover. Ooo. Look at that guy, he has dummy corporations off shore! "Enron", eh? Oops. Is buddy of the top criminal here! Can't touch!

But of course, anyone who the government wants to nail for, say, contibuting to the Democratic Party, for example, we all know the temptation to do harm to one's opponents like mailing them anthrax letters, etc. So now, even right wing businessmen who want to race past the peons at airports are hopping mad.

So, I suppose they will come up with a "donate to Bush, fly fast" Pioneer sort of list. Yup. Spread the corruption further!
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