As we reported yesterday, NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frogs Post (the website of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds) that the NSA spied on and targeted for blackmail:
- "Members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial"
- "One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court"
- "Two ... former FISA court judges"
- "State Department officials"
- "People in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people"
- "Antiwar groups"
- "U.S. companies that that do international business"
- "U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business"
- "NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work"
- "The president of the United States now [i.e. Barack Obama, when he was running for Senate]"
Tice just named some additional names.
Specifically, Tice told radio host James Corbett that the NSA spied on the following government officials for the purposes of gaining leverage over them:
- Top Democratic and Republican congress members, especially on the Intelligence, Armed Services and Judiciary committees, as well as the senior leadership in both the House and the Senate
- General Petraeus and other generals (Background)
- Supreme Court justice Alito ... and all of the other Supreme Court justices
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan
Those officials were targeted before the NSA started its mass Prism surveillance program. Now, Tice says the NSA spies on everyone. He's right.
I can not validate what he is saying. This, however, is not out of the question that our government or parts thereof would in fact do this. Certainly the capability is there.
See this for further background on spying and harassment of government officials and civilians.