Whistleblower says NSA violations bigger

EEkid at aol.com EEkid at aol.com
Tue Feb 14 09:47:45 PST 2006

Whistleblower says NSA violations bigger
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A former NSA employee said Tuesday there
is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have
violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights.

Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on
National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he
has concerns about a "special access" electronic surveillance program
that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrentless
wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is
forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

Tice said he believes it violates the Constitution's protection
against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the
information without breaking classification laws. He is not even
allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members
or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance.

Neither could he brief the inspector general of the NSA because that
office is not cleared to hear the information, he said.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Dennis
Kucinich, D-Ohio, said they believe a few members of the Armed
Services Committee are cleared for the information, but they said
believe their committee and the intelligence committees have
jurisdiction to hear the allegations.

"Congressman Kucinich wants Congressman Shays to hold a hearing (on
the program)," said Doug Gordon, Kucinich's spokesman. "Obviously it
would have to take place in some kind of a closed hearing. But
Congress has a role to play in oversight. The (Bush) administration
does not get to decide what Congress can and can not hear."

Tice was testifying because he was a National Security Agency
intelligence officer who was stripped of his security clearance after
he reported his suspicions that a former colleague at the Defense
Intelligence Agency was a spy. The matter was dismissed by the DIA,
but Tice pressed it later and was subsequently ordered to take a
psychological examination, during which he was declared paranoid. He
is now unemployed.

Tice was one of the New York Times sources for its wiretapping story,
but he told the committee the information he provided was not secret
and could have been provided by an private sector electronic
communications professional.


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