View Full Version : Greenwald: US Spying "Institutional Obsession" Surveillance, Feinstein's Orwellian NSA Bill

10-28-2013, 11:53 AM
This is a very good exchange and worth viewing and/or reading the transcript. Covers the 'Establishment Tyranny' Dianne Feinstein, Peter King, Jay Carne, etc, as well as the NSA used as the Fascist-Corporatist mechanism of Industrial espionage under the "establishment mouth piece's" fighting terrorism, revelations which has been refuted every single week with new Snowden docs revealing the true operations of the NSA and US government of spying. Completely shows the Establishment Empire of Lies caught red highhandedly lying to the American citizens and the world. Dianne Feinstein to push a bill to give the NSA even more control & spying power...


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The spat over U.S. spying on Germany grew over the weekend following reports the National Security Agency has monitored the phone calls of Chancellor Angela Merkel since as early as 2002, before she even came to office. The NSA also spied on Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, after he refused to support the Iraq War. NSA staffers working out of the U.S. embassy in Berlin reportedly sent their findings directly to the White House. The German tabloid Bild also reports President Obama was made aware of Merkel’s phone tap in 2010, contradicting his apparent claim to her last week that he would have stopped the spying had he known. In another new disclosure, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reports today the NSA tracked some 60 million calls in Spain over the course of a month last year. A delegation of German and French lawmakers are now in Washington to press for answers on the allegations of U.S. spying in their home countries. We discuss the latest revelations with Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported Edward Snowden’s leaks.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the latest National Security Agency revelations, we’re joined by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke the story about Edward Snowden. Earlier today, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo published an article co-written by Greenwald revealing the NSA recently tracked over 60 million calls in Spain in the space of a month. For the past year, he’s been a columnist at The Guardian newspaper. He is leaving the paper this week to join a new media venture funded by eBay founder, multibillionaire Pierre Omidyar. Glenn Greenwald joins us by Democracy Now! video stream from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, Glenn. Let’s start off with the latest news from Spain to Germany.

GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, there’s a series of reports that have appeared in several different European countries over the past two weeks or so. As you indicated, there is a report this morning in El Mundo, which I co-authored, reporting that the NSA in one month, December of 2012, collected the data on 60 million telephone calls made to and from people in Spain. There was an article similar to that one in Le Monde, the Paris daily, the week before, that I also co-authored, indicating that the NSA had collected 70 million telephone calls and stored them in their system to be monitored and analyzed. And there have been a series of reports, of course, in Germany, really over the last three months, mostly co-authored by Laura Poitras, the American filmmaker with whom I’ve been working on the Snowden story from the start, about systematic and bulk spying on the people of Germany, and, more recently, targeting the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that has caused a very significant political controversy and underscoring the principal point—is what these stories do—which is that it really is the goal of the NSA, as I’ve said many times before, to eliminate privacy worldwide by ensuring that all forms of human electronic communication are subject to its ever-growing surveillance net.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how the German spying worked. I mean, for Germans, Angela Merkel’s phone is very famous. Can you explain why? I mean her cellphone that she uses through all sessions of Parliament. There have been pieces, whole pieces, just written about her phone, well before this information came out.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. I mean, the NSA uses different techniques. One of the main techniques that it uses, as Der Spiegel in its cover story reported this week, is, through a consulate in Berlin, the NSA sends people who pretend to be diplomats, who are actually there to engage in mass surveillance on the German population, as well as to target the individual cellphone calls of prominent German politicians such as its chancellor. We did a similar report here in Brazil on the targeting of President Dilma Rousseff. And the same has happened in Mexico, where both the current and former Mexican presidents were targeted with similar forms of surveillance. And often the way that this is done is through people who pretend to be diplomats stationed at what pretends to be a consulate, but which is really an NSA outpost that exploits its positioning in the nation’s capital under diplomatic treaties to target the population and the leading democratically elected leaders with very invasive surveillance.

AMY GOODMAN: And the embassy itself, its placement, this massive embassy building that the United States moved into in 2008?

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. The Der Spiegel report is using a document that demonstrates that that embassy is essentially the outpost for NSA spying. And this is quite common for the NSA to do in capitals in the allies most closely aligned with the United States. And obviously what this does is it undermines trust between these allies and the American government. It also makes a mockery out of diplomatic treaties, which really do bar the exploitation of diplomatic relations, diplomatic buildings and other forms of diplomacy as a means to engage in surveillance, both on citizens indiscriminately and democratically elected leaders, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded the United States strike a no-spying agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, saying alleged espionage against two of Washington’s closest EU allies had to be stopped.
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: [translated] I think the most important thing is to find a basis for the future on which we can operate. And as I said today, trust needs to be rebuilt, which implies that trust has been severely shaken. And the members of the European Union shared those concerns today. But we all know that we have such important tasks in the world that we can only master together and that we are responsible for our mutual security, that we simply need to look into the future. Obviously, words will not be sufficient. True change is necessary.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Glenn Greenwald, you mentioned, you know, the spying on democratically elected leaders. She was being spied on even before she was chancellor.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right, exactly. And the current Mexican president was, as well, prior to his being elected. The United States government has created a spying system—and this is the picture that really emerges from all of the documents—that is obsessed, institutionally, with identifying any kinds of communications that it cannot intrude and then developing technologies in order to invade them, without really any thought as to the underlying rationale, a weighing of benefits and costs. It really is a spying system that exists simply to spy for its own sake, to augment the power of the United States government, to make sure that it has full understanding of what everyone in the world is thinking and doing and choosing and deciding. And that is really a very consequential—and, I think, menacing—development for the world and for the idea of individual privacy on the Internet and through telephones. And it’s up to the world, I think, to decide what should be done in light of these revelations.

AMY GOODMAN: During Friday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was questioned about NSA spying of the German chancellor.
NEDRA PICKLER: Thanks, Jay. I want to follow up on your comment in yesterday’s briefing about how the United States is not and will not monitor German Chancellor Merkel’s communications. Lawmakers in Berlin have objected to that answer because you didn’t say whether her communications were monitored in the past. So I want to ask you: Has the United States monitored the chancellor’s phone calls in the past?

PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: Nedra, we are not going to comment publicly on every specified alleged intelligence activity. And as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. As I mentioned yesterday, the president spoke with Chancellor Merkel, reassured her that the United States is not and will not monitor the chancellor’s communications.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, your response?

GLENN GREENWALD: Remember, all of the stories that we are reporting are based on the NSA’s own internal documents, the claims that the NSA has made to itself and to its four closest allies when it comes to surveillance programs, which is the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. And so, I think at this point there’s really nobody rational who doubts the veracity of any of these reports. They’ve proven to be true in every single case. So when the documents prove or when other evidence proves that Chancellor Merkel was targeted with this kind of surveillance, it’s obviously the case that she was. And Jay Carney’s refusal to deny that she was such a target, after making a point to say she no longer will be in the future and is not right at this very second, I think, obviously, demonstrates that. That is the difficulty for the U.S. government, is there’s no way for them to demonize or to discredit the reporting that we’re doing, precisely because the reporting that we’re doing is based very faithfully on the claims that the NSA itself makes in their own documents.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, this is Congressman Peter King, chair of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press. He defended the NSA’s spying.
REP. PETER KING: I think the president should stop apologizing, stop being defensive. The reality is, the NSA has saved thousands of lives, not just in the United States, but also in France and Germany and throughout Europe. And, you know, the French are some ones to talk, when the fact is, they’ve carried out spying operations against the United States, both the government and industry. As far as Germany, that’s where the Hamburg plot began, which led to 9/11. They’ve had dealings with Iran and Iraq, North Korea—the French and the Germans and other European countries. We’re not doing this for the fun of it. This is to gather valuable intelligence, which helps not just us, but also helps the Europeans.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Congressmember Peter King, who may well be running for president of the United States. Glenn Greenwald?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, are Democratic partisans at all embarrassed by the fact that the most vocal proponents of these NSA spying programs, aside from people like Dianne Feinstein, are the very Republicans whom they spent years deriding as these radicals and extremists, people like Peter King or John Boehner or Michele Bachmann, all of whom have very vigorously defended President Obama’s spying program? Does that give Democrats any pause at all about what the real value or purpose of these spying programs are?
What Peter King is essentially telling the French and telling the world is that they ought to be grateful that the United States government is invading the privacy of their citizens by the millions and intercepting their communications data. And I think that message is resonating really quite poorly around the world. This is not 1982, where the United States can simply dictate imperialistically to the rest of the world what it ought to be grateful for and have the rest of the world necessarily accept it with reverence. It’s a much different world. And I think Peter King lives in that age that no longer really exists.
But look, this is the claim that every power faction uses whenever they engage in mass surveillance, which is they try to tell the population, "Don’t worry. We’re doing this because we love you. We want to protect you. This is for your own good." And in every single case when powerful factions are permitted to engage in surveillance in the dark without really any accountability—not often, but inevitably, always—it is radically abused. And that’s what makes this so dangerous.
And it’s not surprising that people like Peter King are finding common cause with people like Dianne Feinstein or even Nancy Pelosi, the sort of establishment leaders of both political parties, to defend these systems, because these systems do vest those in power with extreme amounts of authority to do all sorts of things that people in power always want to do.

AMY GOODMAN: In fact, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is introducing legislation that would codify the NSA spying, that would grant the NSA explicit authority to gather records, listing the numbers, duration and time of all U.S. telephone calls, Glenn.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. I mean, is there anything more indicative of just how broken Washington is, that the person who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is a committee that was created in the wake of the findings of the Church Committee in the mid-1970s, that was intended to serve as a restraint and a check on what the Intelligence Committee does, is the greatest loyalist and the most servile devotee of protecting and shielding the authority of that community, named Dianne Feinstein? I mean, it just shows how—what a complete joke and a travesty the idea of congressional oversight has actually become.
And what the Dianne Feinsteins and the John Boehners of the world are doing right this very minute is they know that the public is outraged by these revelations, that they need to be placated symbolically. And so, what they’re trying to do is to devise legislation that, with this very Orwellian tactic, will slap the word "reform" on it and say that it’s designed to reel in some of the abuses of the NSA, but which are really—in title, are designed to let the NSA continue to do exactly what they’ve been doing, and in many cases, as you just suggested, even strengthen the NSA further. Remember, these are the people who defended, who joined together—the Republican and Democratic party leadership defended, with the White House, the ability of the NSA to continue to bulk spy on American citizens, to collect all of our phone bills, showing all of the telephone calls we make and receive. And there’s a coalition of outsiders in Washington, both on the right and the left, who are working to undermine that. But the tactics of the NSA loyalists, like Dianne Feinstein, is to produce legislation that they can deceive people into believing is reform, when in reality it does the opposite.

AMY GOODMAN: In an interview on Thursday, the NSA director, General Keith Alexander, called for newspapers to stop reporting on its secret surveillance.... continue at the link for the rest of the transcript http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/28/glenn_greenwald_us_spying_on_allies

10-28-2013, 12:06 PM
That was an interesting exchange

10-28-2013, 12:18 PM
That was an interesting exchangereferencing Dianne Feinstein legislation mentioned by Amy Goodwin and Glenn Greenwald... Feinstein is absolutely nuts, and Orwellian-Tyrannical freak. If anyone should be recalled, it should be this wacko.

Sen. Feinstein’s Proposed Bill Would Incriminate Anyone Speaking Against NSA’s Spying and Courts
By Admin (http://thestateweekly.com/author/spre1648/) on October 22, 2013
by Ali Papademetriou
California lawmaker and member of the United States Senate committee, Diane Feinstein has let it be known that she strongly supports the National Security Agency and its surveillance programs. The agency has caught much heat from the American people after whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked documents showing that the NSA spies on millions of citizens through their phone data.
Last weekend, she published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, claiming that the 9/11 attacks (http://thestateweekly.com/feinstein-claims-nsa-spying-program-could-have-prevented-911-attacks/) could have been prevented had the NSA surveillance programs been alive beforehand. “We would have detected the impending attack that killed 3,000 Americans,” she wrote.
Then on Monday, she stated that the NSA’s bulk compilation of phone records is actually “not surveillance” and is rather just a necessary device by means of fighting terrorism. Her statement was made in an op-ed, which was published by USA Today.
She also asserted that the agency’s actions have been “effective in helping to prevent terrorist plots against the US and our allies.”
Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, both of whom are also members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to NSA director (http://thestateweekly.com/senators-write-letter-to-nsa-director-say-agency-needs-to-correct-its-facts-protect-privacy/) Keith Alexander, criticizing him by detailing, “Saying that ‘these programs’ have ‘disrupted dozens of potential terrorist plots’ is misleading if the bulk phone records collection program is actually providing little or no value.” They also detailed how the NSA has only stopped a few pieces of terror plots over the years – contradictory to Senator Feinstein’s assertions.
It was also reported by the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/21/dianne-feinstein-defends-nsa-data-collection) that Senator Feinstein is anticipating introducing legislation, which would criminally punish those who make critical statements about the NSA and its secret courts.
Feinstein’s bill comes just in time in the agency’s favor, considering both the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF (http://thestateweekly.com/judge-denies-obama-administrations-request-to-halt-nsa-lawsuit-trial/)) and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC (http://thestateweekly.com/obama-admin-fighting-against-supreme-court-assessment-of-nsa-spying-scared-of-transparency/)) have active lawsuits against the NSA for its unconstitutional surveillance of US citizens.

10-28-2013, 08:42 PM