NSA Spies Listened to Any Calls They Found Titillating

Some stories are just too good. Remember all those times you thought, "I know they're doing this, but I can't prove it," yet kept silent because you didn't want to be perceived as cranky? Turns out, they were really doing it!

Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Glenn Greenwald has a comprehensive take on the story.

[more ...]

(1) There is one reason and one reason only these abuses occurred: because George Bush broke the law — committed felonies — by ordering the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.

(2) While the extent of the abuses disclosed here is substantial — “hundreds of Americans”; journalists, Red Cross and aid workers; military officers speaking to their friends and families — these disclosures are from only two relatively low-level individual NSA linguists at one NSA facility in Georgia. If just these two individuals are aware of this level of abuse, just imagine what the true extent of the abuses is — both quantitatively (how many innocent Americans had their conversations eavesdropped on?) and qualitatively (who, beyond journalists and aid workers, were listened to?).

This is what you knew they were doing:

Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of "cuts" that were available on each operator's computer.

"Hey, check this out," Faulk says he would be told, "there's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, 'Wow, this was crazy'," Faulk told ABC News.

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  • Display: Sort:
    OMG. Getting my (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 08:21:11 PM EST
    blood pressure up re FISA vote.  

    well TChris, this just proves (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:40:02 PM EST
    that if someone really is out to get you, you aren't paranoid!

    and we're all shocked by these revelations because?

    totally useless! (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by GeekLove08 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:50:46 PM EST
    Let's not forget who the ultimate culprit is here:  the U.S. Congress, and specifically the Senate Intelligence Committee led for years by GOP Sen. Pat Roberts and now by Democratic Sen.  Jay Rockefeller. . . But people like Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller (along with Nancy Pelosi and ranking House Intelligence Committee Member Jane Harman) knew that the Bush administration was spying on Americans without warrants -- because the administration told them they were -- and they did nothing.

    No wonder Americans are fed up with Both parties.

    That's Why (none / 0) (#7)
    by CDN Ctzn on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 11:28:28 PM EST
    some political analysts like Noam Chomsky have complained that we don't have an opposition party in the USA but rather one party with two wings!

    I think that one must assume... (4.00 / 1) (#9)
    by desertswine on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:59:10 AM EST
    that all your phone calls are being monitored, domestic or international.

    Speak slowly and clearly into the salt shaker (none / 0) (#3)
    by jerry on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:45:26 PM EST
    So Bush and Cheney are the worst Executives ever, but our Democratic Congress also deserves to be sh*tcanned as quickly as they can be.

    Sen. Rockefeller is "disturbed"? (none / 0) (#5)
    by themomcat on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 10:30:47 PM EST
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081009/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/government_eavesdropping;_ylt=Ao0nnWIhiIIpO1rs 9fgfs0Gs0NUE

    I am amazed that he finds this disturbing. And just as an aside, I hope the NSA found the conversations between my spouse and myself "titillating". ;-)

    Fixing your link (none / 0) (#6)
    by Teresa on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 11:12:55 PM EST
    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by themomcat on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:40:47 AM EST
    My linking skills are somewhat lacking. ;-)