General Keith Alexander says two recently disclosed surveillance programs on international communications are critical in the terrorism fight. Though it is great that the NSA has helped foil terrorist plots, it doesn’t erase the fact that it is unconstitutional, and un-American to spy on U.S. Citizens who are not under any type of suspicion of terrorist activity.
On Monday the whistleblower Edward Snowden gave an exclusive live Q&A to the Guardian to answer questions about the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history and revelations about government surveillance. Read it here Edward Snowden’s Q&A on The Guardian.
Three former NSA Employees, and whistleblowers Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe collaborated key points in Snowden’s leaks.
And among them, they’ve now said all of the following in an USA Today Interview:
- His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.
- What Snowden discovered is “material evidence of an institutional crime.”
- As a system administrator, Snowden “could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure — because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That’s why he said, I think, ‘I can even target the president or a judge.’ If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that’s right. As a super-user, he could do that.”
- “The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth.”
- Congressional overseers “have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing.”
- Lawmakers “don’t really don’t understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don’t understand.”
- Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, “first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed.” Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.
- “There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It’s a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered.”
Read more about this on The Atlantic