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Government Spying On Citizens Is Not New
How naïve can you get? Evidence shows they've been doing it for decades

Steve Watson | December 19 2005

Last week, the New York Times suggested that the Bush administration has instituted "a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices" when it "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants."

Bush defended the actions Saturday, saying that he acted in the aftermath of the Sept.11 attacks because the United States had failed to detect communications that might have tipped it off to the plot.

As a result, "I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al-Qaida and related terrorist organizations," Bush said. "This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security."

Bush acknowledged that he had ordered the National Security Agency to conduct an electronic eavesdropping in the US without first obtaining warrants, and said he would continue the highly classified program because it was "a vital tool in our war against the terrorists."

The "leak" of this story came at a very convenient time as the Neo-Cons were desperately trying to get through the extended Patriot Act in the Senate. Revelations indicate that The New York Times had known about the story for at least a year and had not run it, under government orders.

A New York Times insider, who wishes to remain anonymous has said that “The Bush administration put its ‘rubber stamp’ of approval on the release of the story during the hot Patriot Act debates in order to launch a counter-attack against opposition lawmakers and civil rights groups, depicting them as anti-American and weak on terror protection,”

Further indication, not that we need it, that the corporate media is, at the top, under direct government control. The intention is to make Bush look strong by telling the general public that although it has pained him very much, he has had to instigate such programs and sacrifice liberty for security. The natural response from the sleeping majority will be to assume that the government knows best because there has not been another terror attack since 9/11.

Commenting on the Patriot Act, Bush used his weekly radio address to state that “The terrorists want to attack America again and kill the innocent and inflict even greater damage than they did on September 11th and the Congress has a responsibility not to take away this vital tool that law enforcement and intelligence officials have used to protect the American people,”

Combined with the "leak" of the spying story Bush looks like the saviour and those that criticize him, the outsiders. This is a release valve, eavesdropping on citizens is nothing new, the only shift here is that the can now TELL us that they're spying on us and it will slowly be accepted. Soon enough domestic government spying will become accepted as the norm and somewhere shortly down the line we may end up in a Nineteen Eighty Four type situation whereby citizens begin to spy on each other, reporting those who denounce the accepted policy of eavesdropping.

If the NY Times is to be believed, the National Security Agency engages in “some eavesdropping inside the country,” There are hundreds of sources that prove the intelligence services have been operating similar programs for decades.

“In June 1970 Nixon met with Hoover [FBI], Helms [CIA], NSA Director Admiral Noel Gaylor, and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) representative Lt. Gen. Donald V. Bennett and told them he wanted a coordinated and concentrated effort against domestic dissenters,” Verne Lyon - former CIA undercover operative.

"For over fifteen years, the CIA, with assistance from numerous government agencies, conducted a massive illegal domestic covert operation called Operation CHAOS. It was one of the largest and most pervasive domestic surveillance programs in the history of this country. Throughout the duration of CHAOS, the CIA spied on thousands of U.S. citizens. The CIA went to great lengths to conceal this operation from the public while every president from Eisenhower to Nixon exploited CHAOS for his own political ends."

There are also multiple Pentagon projects in operation that involve the collection of intelligence through domestic eavesdropping.

One example is the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA)

Consider this from William M. Arkin of the Washington Post:

"CIFA already has these authorities, has its own agents, and collects information on common American citizens under the guise of "sabotage" and "force protection" threats to the military. Since 9/11, functions that were previously intended to protect U.S. forces overseas from terrorism and protect U.S. secrets from spies have been combined in one super-intelligence function that constitutes the greatest threat to U.S. civil liberties since the domestic spying days of the 1970's."

"On May 2, 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz signed a memorandum directing the military to collect and report "non-validated threat information" relating to U.S. military forces, installations or missions. His memorandum followed from the establishment of the Domestic Threat Working Group after 9/11, the intent of which was to create a mechanism to share low-level domestic "threat information" between the military and intelligence agencies."

Then we have the "Total Information Awareness" program whereby "Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database."

Shortly after the announcement of TIA, the Pentagon backtracked and told us that TIA was shutting down, but read the second paragraph in this article, the tools are there waiting to be used, They'll just rename it and start it up again at any given time. The Tools of TIA include "LifeLog" which is described as "a multimedia, digital record of everywhere you go and everything you see, hear, read, say and touch". Another tool is the MATRIX database, A federally funded crime database run by multiple states at once.

Operation TIPS and similar programs were geared towards turning citizens themselves into domestic spies.

Then of course there is the joint NSA / Government Communications Head Quarters of England (GCHQ) Project Echelon. This long running operation was first exposed in the mid nineties and then again most prominently by author James Bamford in his 1999 book Body of Secrets. Bamford comments, "The cooperation between the Echelon countries is worrying. For decades, these organizations have worked closely together, monitoring communications and sharing the information gathered. Now, through Echelon, they are pooling their resources and targets, maximizing the collection and analysis of intercepted information."

In the greatest surveillance effort ever established, the NSA global spy system captures and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax, email and telex message sent anywhere in the world. Quite obviously they cannot listen to everyone anywhere ALL the time, but they have the capability to choose when to listen and who to listen to, wherever they may be.

James Bamford famously recalled how the NSA successfully intercepted satellite calls from Osama Bin Laden in the late nineties as he was talking to his mother.

"I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return." - Senator Frank Church, quoted in ECHELON: America's Secret Global Surveillance Network

Under the Clinton Administration Echelon certainly turned its attention to citizens of countries everywhere and monitored millions of calls and other communications.

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told CBS's "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."

Domestic spying is nothing new, there has been at least half a century of such activity in America. The naïveté of the public is at an all time high as they would rather switch off than engage in the mess that is modern day politics in America. The general public will believe that government spying on them is new, and secondly, they will just accept it because they are being told in a very unsophisticated fashion, that it is keeping them safe.

The corporate controlled media will keep coming to the aid of the government when it needs to release these stories as it has this time around. The only voice of dissent and reason is coming from the alternative media who will not keep quiet when every time the "story" is simply something we have been saying, proving and explaining for years.

.INFOWARS: BECAUSE THERE'S A WAR ON FOR YOUR MIND


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