Thursday, January 12, 2006

More from former NSA spy

Here's the transcript of a more in-depth radio interview with Russell Tice. I am happy to see that this former government employee is, unlike some other government employees, working hard to "preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States" instead of to create loopholes that effectively destroy it. He talks about, among other things, how he discovered an FBI agent following him, how secrecy by classification and compartmentalization encourages criminal activities at the NSA, and how the FISA court is an oblivious rubber-stamp unless the NSA is asking to do something very blatantly illegal. This strongly suggests that the NSA by avoiding the FISA court is hiding programs that are very illegal and very dangerous to our democracy.

Tice observes that, by combining the Justice Department's highly distorted view of surveillance law with its disgusting opinions on detainment and torture, "you could have potentially somebody getting the wrong phone call from a terrorist and having him [the receiver of the phone call] spirited away to some back-alley country to get the rubber hose treatment." It is already well known that completely innocent people have been detained and tortured by the CIA, and that American citizens have also been detained as "enemy combatants," with the so-called "Justice Department" arguing that all of these anti-democratic, anti-freedom, and anti-human activities are perfectly legal.

Tice has offered to testify to Congress on the NSA spy scandal, observing that "[t]he freedom of the American people cannot be protected when our constitutional liberties are ignored and our nation has decayed into a police state." That police state has been advanced by but did not begin with the current Administration. It has its main origin in the legal opinions of the Justice Department. That Department has often urged substituting very poor procedures internal to the executive branch for the real checks and balances between branches, for example judicial search warrants, called for by the Constitution. Tice's scenario has a frightening high "potential[]" of happening if the Justice Department does not stop writing self-serving legal briefs that mislead the President, the Congress, the Supreme Court, other government employees, and the American people.

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