Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency employee who lost his job and says it was in retaliation for whistleblowing, said Tuesday that he was one of the sources for New York Times reporting on the NSA’s special surveillance program.
You might recall I spoke about Tice three weeks ago, when he said he wanted to testify before Congressional intelligence committees about intelligence abuses at NSA and DIA. Now he has revealed on ABC’s World News Tonight that he was one of “over a dozen” sources who contributed to the Times reporting on NSA’s surveillance of certain Americans believed to be linked to terrorist groups.
“Thou shalt not spy on American persons without a court order from FISA,” said Tice, referring to directives which govern signals intelligence collection.
“As far as I’m concerned, as long as I don’t say anything that’s classified, I’m not worried,” he told ABC. “We need to clean up the intelligence community. We’ve had abuses, and they need to be addressed.”
Tice has formally requested closed-door Congressional hearings with the House and Senate intelligence committees to inform them of what he knows about illegal intelligence activities. NSA responded by throwing up bureaucratic obstacles. (PDF)
Tice said that the President’s program, as it’s come to be called, could have swept up the communications of millions of Americans, rather than the “limited” program the President has defended.
“That would mean for most Americans that if they conducted, or you know, placed an overseas communication, more than likely they were sucked into that vacuum,” Tice told ABC News.
The NSA’s inspector general has opened an investigation into the program to determine if it was conducted legally.
“Insane,” says Stephen VanDyke.