Ethan A. Huff
Two former high-ranking officials at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), a federal bureaucracy that collects data and intelligence on foreign communications for national security purposes, have come forward with allegations that the NSA actively monitors Americans as well. According to testimonies from both Thomas Drake, a former NSA senior official, and Kirk Wiebe, a former NSA senior analyst, the agency actively monitors and collects intelligence on every single American as part of a massive spying operation.
RT.com first broke the story after Drake and Wiebe, on two recent but separate occasions, disclosed inside information about the NSA’s spying activities to reporters. During a recent interview with Eliot Spitzer, host of Current TV’s “Viewpoint” program, Drake explained how the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a catalyst for redefining America as a “foreign nation” in order to legitimize unwarranted surveillance of innocent Americans — and he says this backdoor spying program continues to this day.
“When you open up the Pandora’s Box of just getting access to incredible amounts of data, for people that have no reason to be put under suspicion, no reason to have done anything wrong, and just collect all that for potential future use or even current use, it opens up a real danger,” said Drake during the interview.
“And for what else could they use that data (other than for future prosecutions unrelated to terrorism or for blackmail purposes), particularly when it’s all being hidden behind the mantle of national security.”
Binney expressed similar sentiments during a recent interview with journalist Geoff Shively, according to RT.com, in which he disclosed that the federal government is basically collecting whatever data it possibly can on every single American. This is made even easier, of course, by social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Path, and many others that actively monitor and track people’s every action.
“Domestically, they’re pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country and assembling that information, building communities that you have relationships with, and knowledge about you; what your activities are; what you’re doing,” said Binney.
“So the government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it’s a very dangerous process.”
Since RT.com first published its piece about these two whistleblowers, several mainstream news sites have attempted to downplay the NSA’s obvious violations of the Bill of Rights, and specifically the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures without warrant. But no matter how they try to spin it, intelligence-gathering, wiretapping, and various other spying activities without warrant are unconstitutional and illegal, even when done in the name of fighting terrorism.
Sources for this article include: