23 Aug 2013

US NSA admits that analysts are guilty of multiple ‘willful violations’ of their authority in spying on Americans

By Madison Ruppert: In an official statement, the National Security Agency (NSA) has finally admitted that their analysts deliberately breached restrictions on their surveillance of Americans on multiple occasions over the past ten years.
The NSA previously claimed that the violations were not willful, clearly contradicting their latest statement about the thousands of privacy violations discovered in agency audits. This blatantly contradicts claims made by the Obama administration and others in Washington that the violations were not, in fact, willful.
This statement is about the same privacy violations which some in Washington have maintained they were kept unaware of until they learned about them through media reports.
“Over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA’s authorities have been found,” the NSA said in a statement issued to Bloomberg News.
This comes just days after it was revealed that the NSA illegally gathered the emails of Americans with no connections to terrorists or terrorism for multiple years.

“NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct, and cooperates fully with any investigations — responding as appropriate. NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities,” the statement continued.
However, even the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was not aware of the extent of the privacy violations of the NSA and the internal audit was not shown to the court, Congress or the president.

The NSA inspector general documented an average of one case per year over 10 years where NSA employees intentionally acted inappropriately, according to an unnamed official familiar with the findings cited by Bloomberg.
The official claimed that the incidents were minor, though they involved people accessing the NSA’s massive surveillance apparatus.
One must wonder if the far-from-independent review group will address these violations in their report.
The NSA claimed that these deliberate violations were not breaches of the Patriot Act or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act but Executive Order 12333 which deals with U.S. intelligence operations.
Executive Order 12333 was issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and has been amended in 2003, 2004 and 2008 by three other executive orders.
Another anonymous U.S. official told Bloomberg that the violations were “the work of overzealous NSA employees or contractors” who sought to prevent an event similar to September 11, 2001.
In other words, we shouldn’t be concerned by these egregious willful violations which were kept from scrutiny. After all, it was just some well-meaning NSA analysts trying to keep us safe, right?
It’s quite interesting to note that politicians in Washington who have been known to be defenders of NSA surveillance either lied about willful violations or were also completely ignorant.
“As I have said previously, the committee has never identified an instance in which the NSA has intentionally abused its authority to conduct surveillance for inappropriate purposes,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement last week, as The Hill noted.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, made a similar statement last week in response to the same documents Feinstein was responding to which were published by The Washington Post.
“The disclosed documents demonstrate that there was no intentional and willful violation of the law and that the NSA is not collecting the email and telephone traffic of all Americans,” Rogers claimed.
“The committee does not tolerate any intentional violation of the law,” Rogers continued. “Human and technical errors, like all of the errors reported in this story, are unfortunately inevitable in any organization and especially in a highly technical and complicated system like NSA.”
However, we now know that the violations went far beyond human and technical errors, but were indeed “intentional violation[s] of the law.”
Interestingly, at the time the deputy White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, echoed Feinstein’s statement while not saying that all incidents were unintentional.
“Rather, the majority of the compliance incidents are unintentional,” Earnest said at the time.
It’s important to note that he said “the majority,” not “all.” Feinstein, however, said that they “never identified an instance” and Rogers said that “there was no intentional and willful violation of the law.”
Did the White House know about the willful violations or did Earnest just happen to make a more truthful statement than the ones made by others?

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