This diary is based on two excellent pieces on NPR on the NSA.
They interviewed Thomas Drake who is a member of DK and a client of Jesselyn Radack. The links for the articles came from her twitter feed.
unR̶A̶D̶A̶C̶K̶ted @JesselynRadack 7mI will link each article directly in the text below the squiggle.
Re: Hiding truth f/ #overseers, the running joke at #NSA was: "Who are we at war with, the terrorists or Congress?"
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Do the citizens have the right to know what is being done in our name at the NSA and other 16 surveillance state organizations?
Suppose a top leader at the NSA thinks that they are violating the constitution and the citizens should know about it, what should be done with them?
I think this could be called intimidation.
Bill Binney worked at the National Security Agency nearly three decades...Well there are checks and balances and a chain of command to congress which has oversight. Our founding fathers fought to construct a republic to preserve privacy by being based on the rule of law as described in the constitution.
...Binney recalls the July morning seven years ago when a dozen gun-wielding FBI agents burst through the front door of his home, ...
"I first knew that they were in there when they were pointing a gun at me as I was coming out of the shower," Binney says.
...other NSA colleagues who also quit tried sounding the alarm with congressional committees. But because they did not have documents to prove their charges, nobody believed them. Snowden, he says, did not repeat that mistake.Thomas Drake says that Snowen had such an impact because he had the documents. Drake tried to speak out on potentially unconstitutional programs but
"The only person who was investigated, prosecuted, charged in secret, then was indicted, then ended up facing trial and 35 years in prison was myself," he says.This is from the first NPR article
I'll give the link to the second NPR article at the start
At the NSA's closely guarded headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., there is little evidence of tension with Congress. A large sign on the wall of the agency's briefing room for visitors reads: "Fully Committed to Protecting the Privacy Rights of the American People."Now that we have the Snowden documents, previous whistle blowers can speak out more.
"And the joke that went around NSA was who are we at war with, right, the terrorists or Congress?" Drake says. "It was clear that the priority by NSA leadership was, we're at war with Congress — we're not going to let them know what the truth is. NSA had a lot to hide."Even though Clapper lied, congress could do nothing about it.
Though Wyden knew Clapper's answer was not correct, he could not say anything at the time because the program remained secret. But when Snowden's revelations about the NSA went public, Clapper was pressed about the answer he'd given Wyden. He called it "the least untruthful" statement he could have made about the secret program. Later, Clapper wrote Congress to say the answer he'd given to Wyden's question had been "clearly erroneous."A couple of weeks ago there was a congressional hearing of NSA and they were not sworn in. What has happened to our "democracy'?
And the article final paragraph
Of course, before Snowden's revelations, the American people didn't know what their elected representatives knew about when it came to what was going on at the NSA. And those representatives still can't be sure that they know all they should.