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.
(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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