INTERVIEW: RUSSELL TICE: NSA WhistleblowerFri Aug 18, 2006 19:08
8/17/06 "The Charles Goyette Show"
INTERVIEW: RESSELL TICE, NSA Whistleblower
Your cell phone can be turned on remotely and used as a
Russell Tice subpoenaed in intelligence leak investigation
Homeland Stupidity (satire), DC - Jul 29, 2006
... Va., investigating leaks of classified intelligence information to the press, has subpoenaed (PDF) national security whistleblower Russell Tice, who has ...
A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., investigating leaks of classified intelligence information to the press, has subpoenaed (PDF) national security whistleblower Russell Tice, who has previously acknowledged being a source for the New York Times story on President Bush’s terrorist surveillance program.
Tice, who has said he refused to divulge classified information to the press, but only to people with the necessary security clearances, called the subpoena an attempt to harass and intimidate him into remaining silent about government wrongdoing.
In December, Justice opened a criminal investigation after the New York Times disclosed the existence of the eavesdropping program, which allows the NSA to monitor telephone calls to and from the United States without a court order if one party is suspected of links to terrorist groups. The documents released yesterday do not make it clear whether the grand jury is focused on that report or on some other disclosure.
Tice has publicly identified himself as a possible source for the report, saying that he talked to Times reporters before it was published. He also has said he believes he was fired by the NSA last year because he complained of possible Chinese espionage at the agency, and he has since sought to testify before Congress about “probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts” by the NSA director and other senior administration officials.
Tice said in an interview that he viewed the subpoena as an attempt at intimidation by the government. “This is the king saying, ‘How dare anyone challenge my authority and say that I’m a crook or a criminal?’” he said. — Washington Post
“What we are seeing here is a government desperate to cover up its criminal and unconstitutional conduct. They now are going beyond the usual retaliation against whistleblowers who courageously come forward to report cases of government fraud, waste, abuse, and in some cases such as this one, criminal actions,” said Sibel Edmonds, director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition in a news release.
“Their old tactics of intimidation, gag orders, and firing, have not stopped an unprecedented number of whistleblowers from coming forward and doing the right thing. Desperate to prevent the public’s right to know, they now are getting engaged in a witch hunt targeting these patriotic truth tellers.”
In February, Tice testified in an open hearing before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations on the lack of protection for intelligence whistleblowers. And in May he met with Senate staffers cleared for special access programs, one of the highest categories of secrets, and told all. Now, it seems, everyone on the Hill wants to hear from him.
“To this date I have pursued all the appropriate channels to report unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while I served as an intelligence officer with the NSA and DIA,” Tice said in a statement Friday. “It was with my oath as a US intelligence officer to protect and preserve the U.S. Constitution weighing heavy on my mind that I reported acts that I know to be unlawful and unconstitutional.”
“The freedom of the American people cannot be protected when our constitutional liberties are ignored and our nation has decayed into a police state.”
A Justice Department official, who would discuss the confidential criminal investigation only on condition of anonymity, said that the leak inquiry was in a preliminary investigative phase and that no journalist had been subpoenaed. The official said federal agents had interviewed officials at several intelligence agencies about their contacts with reporters at The Times and other news organizations. — New York Times
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he would not rule out the possibility of calling reporters before the grand jury.
The major problem is that national security whistleblowers have very little process for reporting wrongdoing, and when they do, their reports are frequently ignored, or result in retaliation. Because of this, whistleblowers often see no other choice than to go to the press.
How far do you think the government will go to get Tice and other whistleblowers, and the journalists who report what they say, to keep quiet?
Filed under: Politics, Homeland Security, Terrorism, Intelligence
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