New NSA Surveillance Revelations

New information on targets for domestic surveillance on tonight’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

Interestingly, so far, Google News is showing only 3 stories following up on this, which is surprisingly since the implications… are disturbing to say the least.

From Russell Tice’s Wikipedia entry:

In a press release issued by the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition on December 22, 2005, Tice explained the public aspect of his charges, stating that:

“As a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) officer it is continually drilled into us that the very first law chiseled in the SIGINT equivalent of the Ten Commandments (USSID-18) is that Thou shall not spy on American persons without a court order from FISA. This law is continually drilled into each NSA intelligence officer throughout his or her career. The very people that lead the National Security Agency have violated this holy edict of SIGINT.”

In a letter dated January 10, 2006, Renee Seymour, Director of the NSA Special Access Programs Central Office, warned Tice that members of neither the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, nor of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had clearance to receive the classified information about the SAP’s that Tice was prepared to provide.

On February 14, 2006, UPI reports Tice testified to the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations that the Special Access Program might have violated millions of Americans’ Constitutional rights, but that neither the committee members nor the NSA inspector general had clearance to review the program.

There’s some more background at SourceWatch. I’ve got to simultaneously admire Tice’s patriotism and bravery, and also, well, hope for the best for him. Heck, I wonder if he’s been able to get another job since? Also, just thinking about the ramifications of how he, or really any citizen’s communications being completely monitored… just reflecting on that sort of information asymmetry is corrosive to any idea of how a democracy could function.