The Truth: The NSA Has Been Working on Domestic Spying for Ten-Plus Years

[graphic: Electronic Frontier Foundation via Flickr]

[graphic: Electronic Frontier Foundation via Flickr]

The yapping of national security conservatives, whether self-identified as Republicans or Democrats, obscures the truth when they denigrate Edward Snowden’s flight to Hong Kong and subsequent attempts at whistleblowing.

The truth is this:

•  Others before Snowden tried to go through so-called chain of command or proper channels to complain about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying, or to refuse the NSA’s efforts to co-opt them or their business. These efforts did not work.

•  They were obstructed, harassed, or punished for their efforts. It did not matter whether they were insiders or outsiders, whistleblowers or plaintiffs, the results were the same for:

•  William Binney,
•  Thomas Drake,
•  Mark Klein,
•  Thomas Tamm,
•  Russell Tice,
•  and J. Kirk Wiebe,
•  as well as Joseph Nacchio.

•  The effort to spy on Americans, violating their privacy and taking their communications content, has been underway since before the Bush administration. (Yes, you read that right: BEFORE the Bush administration.)

•  Three presidents have either failed to stop it or encouraged it (Yes, including Bill Clinton with regard to ECHELON).

•  The program has been growing in physical size for more than a decade.

One document in particular [PDF] described the challenge of the NSA , from which this excerpt is drawn: Read more