"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Saturday, 13 October 2007

NSA Snooping Predated 9/11

Neocons are fond of beating their chests and claiming with self-righteous indignation that complaints aimed at the Bush administration’s violation of the Constitution, in particular the NSA’s vacuum cleaner approach to telecommunications snooping, are warranted because al-Qaeda attacked us on September 11, 2001. If not for al-Qaeda and other such evil-minded miscreants, the theory goes, we would not need to snoop cell phone and email traffic or conduct the equivalent to rifling through underwear drawers.

Of course, this neocon argument is pure hockey sticks, as underscored by court documents released this week in the case of former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, convicted of insider trading. “Nacchio unsuccessfully attempted to defend himself by arguing that he actually expected Qwest’s 2001 earnings to be higher because of secret NSA contracts, which, he contends, were denied by the NSA after he declined in a February 27, 2001 meeting to give the NSA customer calling records, court documents released this week show,” reports Wired. Nacchio’s lawyer, Herbert Stern, expanded on this in a statement:

In light of pending litigation, I have been reluctant to issue any public statements. However, because of apparent confusion concerning Joe Nacchio and his role in refusing to make private telephone records of Qwest customers available to the NSA immediately following the Patriot Act, and in order to negate misguided attempts to relate Mr. Nacchio’s conduct to present litigation, the following are the facts.

In the Fall of 2001, at a time when there was no investigation of Qwest or Mr. Nacchio by the Department of Justice or the Securities and Exchange Commission, and while Mr. Nacchio was Chairman and CEO of Qwest and was serving pursuant to the President’s appointment as the Chairman of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, Qwest was approached to permit the Government access to the private telephone records of Qwest customers.

Mr. Nacchio made inquiry as to whether a warrant or other legal process had been secured in support of that request. When he learned that no such authority had been granted and that there was a disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process, including the Special Court which had been established to handle such matters, Mr. Nacchio concluded that these requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommunications Act.

Accordingly, Mr. Nacchio issued instructions to refuse to comply with these requests. These requests continued throughout Mr. Nacchio’s tenure and until his departure in June of 2002.

Of course, it is just a coincidence Mr. Nacchio was convicted of insider trading after refusing to allow the government to violate the privacy of Qwest’s customers.

Not that it matters. Telecoms have connived with the government to snoop on the American people for many decades, beginning during WWII with the Armed Forces Security Agency, the precursor to the NSA. In the late 40s and 1950s, the NSA kicked off Project MINARET and Project SHAMROCK and Western Union, RCA, and ITT cooperated fully, to the point where they gave the NSA daily microfilm copies of transited telegraphs. So successful were these operations, the CIA got in on the act and set up a front company in Lower Manhattan called LPMEDLEY, designed to better facilitate snooping on unwitting telecom customers. It is said the investigations of Senator Frank Church in the 1970s put an end to this monkey business. Of course, it is naive in the extreme to believe the government would stop spying on its citizens simply because a few people complained.

Related video:

NSA Pressured LA Times To Kill Domestic Spying Story

Michael Hayden: “probable cause” is not in the 4th Amendment

Even Fox News Admits: FBI Can Listen to You Even if Your Cell Phone is Off

Fact of Fiction? Enemy of the State Scene



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