Normal Topic Senate Intel Committee Blows Off NSA Whistleblower (Read 1960 times)
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Senate Intel Committee Blows Off NSA Whistleblower
Apr 26th, 2006 at 9:56pm
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http://nswbc.org/Press%20Releases/PressRel-NSA-RussTice-Apr26-06.htm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- April 26, 2006

Contact: Sibel Edmonds, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, sedmonds@nswbc.org

Congress Not Allowed to Receive Information from NSA Whistleblower

The Chairmen of the House & Senate Intelligence Committees Dodge Oversight Responsibility; Again!

On December 22, 2005, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) made public the request by a former NSA intelligence analyst and action officer to report to Congress probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while he was an intelligence officer with the National Security Agency (NSA) and with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). NSWBC urged the congress to hold hearings and let Mr. Tice testify. Today, more than four months after Mr. Tice’s letters were sent to the chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and publicized in the media, he has yet to receive a response and be given an opportunity to lawfully disclose his first-hand account of criminal acts conducted by the National Security Agency.

“Here you have a responsible veteran intelligence officer who has been trying to reach out to the so-called appropriate channels, including the United States Congress, to appropriately and lawfully make disclosure of government wrongdoing; yet, as we have seen time and time again, these attempts prove to be futile. Amazingly enough, congressional representatives such as Senator Pat Roberts, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) continue to mislead the public by making false statements regarding the availability of appropriate channels for whistleblowers to disclose government waste, fraud, abuse and/or criminal activities. We would like for Senator Roberts to come out, in light of all these documented cases of whistleblowers’ attempts to report to congress cases of agency wrongdoing, and explain to the public what he means by the ‘availability of appropriate channels for Intelligence whistleblowers to report other than the media’, and when the system will be fixed so we do not have to throw out the best in government to expose the misdeeds of the worst.” stated Sibel Edmonds, the director of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC).

On December 16, 2005, Russ Tice wrote to the chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees requesting a classified briefing to report to Congress probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while he was an intelligence officer with the National Security Agency (NSA) and with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  In his letter, Mr. Tice stated that these acts involved the Director of the National Security Agency, the Deputies Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and were conducted via very highly sensitive intelligence programs and operations known as Special Access Programs (SAP). SAP programs and operations are more commonly referred to as “black world” programs and operations (To read Mr. Tice’s Letter to Congress Click Here)

On January 09, 2006, NSA sent a letter addressed to Mr. Tice and asserted that no senators, congressmen or staff on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) or the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) possessed high enough security clearance to be briefed by Mr. Tice. (To read NSA’s letter to Mr. Tice Click Here)

Today, in a letter sent by Mr. Tice to the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Pat Roberts, he states: “To this date I have not received a response from you or the SSCI addressing my request to testify about these SAP programs.” Further the letter reads, “As the responsible committee for intelligence in the Senate, I have been waiting for your directions on this matter.  If another committee is the proper place for me to testify, I believe it is your responsibility to forward my request to that committee and keep me informed of the process.” (To read the entire letter Click Here)

Professor William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor stated:” In our system of government the People are the fail-safe mechanism of accountability.  When no other avenue works, when no one in political power will listen, when the government colludes to deceive the citizens, it is the People who represent the final court of accountability for those acts and failures.  Whistleblowers in national security agencies have no safe way to report illegal governmental activity; their careers, and even their safety, are put in danger by utilizing official channels of reporting.  They become whistleblowers outside the system as a last resort, after they have been failed by agencies, inspectors general, Congress, and oversight organizations.  They give the decision to the People in a last and desperate act to make sure that right is done.  They also know that by giving the power of knowledge to the public they are sacrificing whatever is left of themselves and their careers.”

About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation’s security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation’s borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct. The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. For more on NSWBC visit www.nswbc.org

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« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2006 at 10:41pm by George W. Maschke »  

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Tice to brief Senate staffers
Reply #1 - May 13th, 2006 at 9:14am
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Although the Senate Intelligence Committee was unwilling to hear ex-NSA employee Russ Tice's testimony regarding probable crimes, he will reportedly be briefing Senate Armed Services Committee staffers next week:

Quote:
http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=34075

Former NSA officer alleges illegal activities under Hayden

By Chris Strohm, CongressDaily

A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency said he plans to tell Senate staffers next week that unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens.

Russell Tice, who worked on what are known as "special access programs," has wanted to meet in a closed session with members of Congress and their staff since President Bush announced in December that he had secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a court order. In an interview late Thursday, Tice said the Senate Armed Services Committee finally asked him to meet next week in a secure facility on Capitol Hill.

Tice was fired from the NSA last May. He said he plans to tell the committee staffers the NSA conducted illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens while he was there with the knowledge of Hayden, who has been nominated to become director of the CIA. Tice said one of his co-workers personally informed Hayden that illegal and unconstitutional activity was occurring.

The Senate Intelligence Committee plans to hold Hayden's confirmation hearing next week. "I think the people I talk to next week are going to be shocked when I tell them what I have to tell them. It's pretty hard to believe," Tice said. "I hope that they'll clean up the abuses and have some oversight into these programs, which doesn't exist right now."

Tice originally asked to meet with the Senate and House Intelligence committees, but they did not respond to his request. The NSA did not reply to written questions seeking comment for this story.

Tice said his information is different from the Terrorist Surveillance Program that Bush acknowledged in December and from news accounts this week that the NSA has been secretly collecting phone call records of millions of Americans.

"It's an angle that you haven't heard about yet," he said.

According to an unclassified resume, Tice was a specialist in space operations systems, command and control warfare, advanced technology and all-source collection analysis. During an 18-year career, he worked on some of the most secretive programs in the government.

Tice would not discuss with a reporter the details of his allegations, saying doing so would compromise classified information and put him at risk of going to jail. He said he "will not confirm or deny" if his allegations involve the illegal use of space systems and satellites.

Tice said he would raise concerns that illegal activity was occurring in electronic reports, but that his comments were deleted from those reports.

Tice was fired last May after the NSA ordered him to undergo psychological evaluations following a separate clash with agency leadership, and psychologists diagnosed him as being paranoid. Tice claimed the order to undergo the evaluations was retaliation for raising concerns. He also said he saw an independent psychologist who found no evidence that he has a mental disorder.

Hayden, on Capitol Hill Friday visiting with lawmakers, defended the secret surveillance programs he oversaw while head of the NSA as lawful and designed to "preserve the security and the liberty of the American people."

Hayden declined to comment on news reports about the NSA's database on private telephone calls, but spoke about the NSA's work in general terms, the Associated Press reported.

"Everything that the agency has done has been lawful. It's been briefed to the appropriate members of Congress," Hayden told reporters. "The only purpose of the agency's activities is to preserve the security and the liberty of the American people. And I think we've done that," he said.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said, "We're 100 percent behind Michael Hayden. ... There's no question about that, and [we are] confident that he is going to comport himself well and answer all the questions and concerns that members of the United States Senate may have in the process of confirmation."
  

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Re: Senate Intel Committee Blows Off NSA Whistlebl
Reply #2 - May 15th, 2006 at 9:19pm
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ABC News reports that Russ Tice will be testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, 17 May:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/05/nsa_whistleblow.html

A letter Tice sent to the committee chairman, Senator Warner of Virginia, is available here:

http://abcnews.go.com/images/WNT/Tice_letter_Warner.pdf
  

George W. Maschke
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Senate Intel Committee Blows Off NSA Whistleblower

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