Business Insider, 22 June 2013
Russ Tice worked as an offensive National Security Agency (NSA) agent from 2002 to 2005, before becoming a source for this Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times article exposing NSA domestic spying.
This week he appeared on the Boiling Frogs Show and detailed how he had his hands “in the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts” during his 20 years as a U.S. intelligence analyst.
Tice claimed that he held NSA wiretap orders targeting numerous members of the U.S. government, including one for a young senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.
“In the summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a forty-some-year-old senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives now would you? It’s a big White House in Washington D.C. That’s who the NSA went after. That’s the President of the United States now.”
Tice added that he also saw orders to spy on Hillary Clinton, Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gen. David Petraeus, and a current Supreme Court Justice.
That sounds like a lot of abuse of the rules that govern NSA domestic spying. And that’s exactly what Tice is claiming.
“The abuse is rampant and everyone is pretending that it’s never happened, and it couldn’t happen. … I know [there was abuse] because I had my hands on the papers for these sorts of things: They went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of congress — Senate and the House — especially on the intelligence committees and the armed services committees, lawyers, law firms, judges, State Department officials, part of the White House, multinational companies, financial firms, NGOs, civil rights groups …”
Tice told Sibel Edmonds’ radio show that back in 2005 the NSA didn’t have the processing power, infrastructure, and storage to collect everything, but a source inside the NSA today confirmed to him that increased capabilities allow the spy agency to copy “every domestic communication in this country, word for word, content, every phone conversation, every email — they are collecting everything in bulk and putting it in databases.”
That’s an astonishing claim. And here’s the kicker, according to Tice: “Outrageous abuses … have happened, and it’s all being kept hush hush.”