Thursday, March 22, 2012

NSA Chief Denies, Denies, Denies Wired’s Domestic Spying Story

Wired - NSA chief General Keith Alexander faced tough —  and funny — questions from Congress Tuesday stemming from Wired’s story on the NSA’s capabalities and warrantless wiretapping program.

Congressman Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, asked Alexander whether the NSA could, at the direction of Dick Cheney, identify people who sent e-mails making fun of his inability to hunt in order to waterboard them.

Alexander said “No,” adding that the “NSA does not have the ability to do that in the United States.” Elaborating, Alexander added: “We don’t have the technical insights in the United States. In other words, you have to have [...] some way of doing that either by going to a service provider with a warrant or you have to be collecting in that area. We’re not authorized to do that, nor do we have the equipment in the United States to collect that kind of information.”

That statement seemingly contradicts James Bamford’s story, The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say), as well as stories from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Wired, which collectively drew a picture of the NSA’s post-9/11 foray into wiretapping the nation’s telecommunication’s infrastructure to spy on Americans without getting warrants.           More