Bush-Era NSA Whistleblower Makes Most Explosive Allegations Yet About Extent of Gov’t Surveillance — and You Won’t Believe Who He Says They Spied On
Jun. 20, 2013 8:09pm Jason Howerton
Russ Tice (Wikipedia)
Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst and Bush-era NSA whistleblower, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.
He also made another stunning allegation. He says the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama back in 2004.
“They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial,” Tice told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frog Post News.
He went on: “But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people.”
Then Tice dropped the bombshell about Obama.
“Here’s the big one,” he said. “[T]his was in summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, D.C. That’s who they went after, and that’s the president of the United States now.”
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and Tice agreed that such wide-ranging surveillance of officials could provide the intelligence agencies with unthinkable power to blackmail their opponents.
“I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on,” Tice said.
Tice first blew the whistle on what he alleged was seriously unconstitutional domestic spying across multiple agencies in 2005. He later admitted he was the key source in a bombshell New York Times report that exposed the Bush administration’s use of warantless wiretapping of international communications in the United States.
The Bush administration admitted to the wiretapping on a small scale but denied Tice’s claims that the tactic was likely being used to gather data on millions of Americans.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden also claimed that as an analyst, he could wiretap the phones of anyone, including judges or the president of the United States if he had access to the right information.