Switchboard Surveillance

October 10, 2008

Decider George has his big-ass-Texas-ears in the air.
Last February, he blubbered: “There is a constant check to make sure that our civil liberties of our citizens are treated with respect.”

He was blubbering about the eavesdropping his military was conducting to hunt down terrorists via telephone conversations.
A couple of these eavesdropping boots-on-the-ground, however, have come forth and related Decider George and his minions are full of shit.

Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003, and former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk, 39, have blown the dog whistle on the “respect” given to US peoples’ phone calls overseas.
They told ABC News it was like a frat house sex romp.

  • 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.
    Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall’s “smoke pit,” but ended up feeling badly about his actions.

Kinne added:

  • “By casting the net so wide and continuing to collect on Americans and aid organizations, it’s almost like they’re making the haystack bigger and it’s harder to find that piece of information that might actually be useful to somebody,” she said. “You’re actually hurting our ability to effectively protect our national security.”

Of course, the official line is tainted by bullshit.
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, director of the N.S.A. from 1999 to 2005, now head of the CIA, claims all this is just much-ado-about-nothing.

  • A spokesman for General Hayden, Mark Mansfield, said: “At NSA, the law was followed assiduously. The notion that General Hayden sanctioned or tolerated illegalities of any sort is ridiculous on its face.”
    The director of the NSA, Lt. General Keith B. Alexander, declined to directly answer any of the allegations made by the whistleblowers.
    In a written statement, Gen. Alexander said: “We have been entrusted to protect and defend the nation with integrity, accountability, and respect for the law. As Americans, we take this obligation seriously. Our employees work tirelessly for the good of the nation, and serve this country proudly.”

When ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross asked Kinne about the official blubbering from Decider George on listening to average US peoples:

  • I would say that that is completely a lie — I would call it a lie — because we were definitely listening to Americans who had nothing to do with terrorism…

Via the New York Times today:

  • The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, said Thursday that the committee would investigate claims by two military eavesdroppers that they routinely listened in on private calls home from American military officers, aid workers and journalists stationed in Iraq.
    Mr. Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, called the accusations “extremely disturbing.”
    “Any time there is an allegation regarding abuse of the privacy and civil liberties of Americans it is a very serious matter,” he said.

    A statement issued by the N.S.A. on Thursday night said, “Some of these allegations have been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated; others are in the investigation process.”

We feel so much better now.
Just a sec, I’ve got a call waiting…

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